Backwards evolved who bands

Eoin McLove

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on: February 10, 2021, 10:25:32 PM
Just a little thought I have been mulling over lately, but are there any bands whose sound devolved, or evolved away from clarity and into oddballery and/or rawness? The general trajectory seems to be for bands to release a demo and then focus their sound more and more over subsequent releases. The sound more often than not trends towards professionalism but often the rough around the edges early stuff is full of promise and potential that gets wiped out in the maturing phase or, in many cases also might get replaced with something slicker and equally engaging. It is as if the fact that the demo stage is a bit more loose and unfocused, often also more poorly recorded, that it offers the listener's imagination more room to manoeuvre, to fill in the blanks or to simply wonder at the direction the band might go in. When the so-called maturing part happens then a lot of doors close, and in many cases the band goes the predictable, professional sounding route. Schrödinger's cat metal, cat often being the operative word (sorry, I couldn't resist).

I am on a particular buzz lately where I want the next thing I release, hopefully with Bacterium if we can get our shit together in the next couple of months, to go wonkier, more unpredictable, even less professional and utterly regressive, but perhaps not in an obvious way. Are there any bands who have taken that sort of avenue, I wonder. Maybe Fleurety? The sheer wonkery and disjointedness of Department of Apocalyptic Affairs springs to mind. Arguably Solstice, whose last album sounded less polished than their earlier stuff. Not many spring readily to mind, really, but I'd be interested to hear other examples.

Added brainfart- perhaps Covid might change the landscape. If gigs become a thing of the past could we see a little more risk taking from bands? Probably not, but a boy can dream...
« Last Edit: February 10, 2021, 10:27:13 PM by Eoin McLove »


astfgyl

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Reply #1 on: February 10, 2021, 10:41:40 PM
Mr Bungle spring to mind. First album is odd enough but Disco Volante is indescribable.



Eoin McLove

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Reply #2 on: February 10, 2021, 10:50:59 PM
Ghoulgotha might fit the bill, not that they necessarily devolved but rather became more complex without polishing their playing. The songs all kind of lumber along falling awkwardly from riff to riff. It all sounds so interesting and rotten. Swallowed too, for that matter. Their sound evolved and devolved at the same time, you could say.
Darkthrone I suppose are an obvious example.


Eoin McLove

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Reply #3 on: February 10, 2021, 11:00:17 PM
Mr Bungle spring to mind. First album is odd enough but Disco Volante is indescribable.

Despite being a FNM fan, I've never checked out Mr Bungle. I think they seem a bit too whacky and anything- goes for my taste, but maybe I should give them a try.


astfgyl

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Reply #4 on: February 10, 2021, 11:22:11 PM
Yeah I get what you mean it can be a bit jokey but it's brilliant once you get into it. Big difference between all the albums as well so if you don't like one, that won't necessarily apply to the others.

Most straightforward by a mile is the latest one. I wasn't enamoured with it.


Carnage

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Reply #5 on: February 10, 2021, 11:35:52 PM
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« Last Edit: February 11, 2021, 11:11:27 AM by Carnage »


ochoill

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Reply #6 on: February 11, 2021, 01:14:46 AM
Mr Bungle spring to mind. First album is odd enough but Disco Volante is indescribable.

Despite being a FNM fan, I've never checked out Mr Bungle. I think they seem a bit too whacky and anything- goes for my taste, but maybe I should give them a try.
Disco Volante is a masterpiece, and though not likely the exact genre you had in mind making this post, it does tick all the boxes - it throws any convention they set on their s/t out the eindow entirely, goes wonky, experiments with ideas pushed to their limit, feels raw and ragged (though isn't as rough and ready as it lets on, it's quite planned), leaves plenty to the imagination and is completely surprising from start to finish.  I love it.

Also a fan of the idea of bands going a bit more out the window and less polished.  I like a crisp production generally but love that things have gone so far now that a murkier production can be actually chosen to suit the style of music, or that the live, ragged approach can be done in a slightly better manner than before for a lot of smaller bands so the immediacy of the music is kept in tact.

Obviously not entirely what you're looking for either but in the discussion on an approach - how we record the Karpackonaut stuff has so far been intentionally unpolished and unprepared.  We don't bring any particular idea to a jam, go in for 4-6 hours with a bag of drink, mic everything in the room, and record it all.  I mean everything, and it is all done completely improvised.  We end up usually with about 2 hours actual recorded session.  I go back afterwards and chop the best songs and sections out of it, give it a very rudimentary mix, add the odd sample sometimes for variety, and call it completed.  I love the live feel of it, even if it is rattled with mistakes and errors, scuffs and breaks.  It's mainly sort of rock / sludge / stoner doom / psychedelic rooted stuff so likely not the style you're after but I thought you'd appreciate the approach regardless - that said it is also purposefully wonky and broken, unpolished and ragged.


Slaughterday

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Reply #7 on: February 11, 2021, 06:46:01 AM
Interesting idea for a thread.

Not strictly the same band as I think one member left, but going from the straightforward (but excellent) technical death metal of Bloody Sign to the stripped down dissonant weirdness of Chaos Echoes (the band, not the album) was very interesting to see.

Would definitely agree on Swallowed. The demo was Autopsy worship, then Lunarterial was completely demented and regressive...still getting my head around that album.

Hopefully this thread doesn't descend into a list of bands paring back their sound and technicality because they got old and shit at playing their instruments  :laugh:


open face surgery

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Reply #8 on: February 11, 2021, 11:03:18 AM
Lunarterial is an interesting one as it's probably a technically better performance then what came before it but sounds absolutely unhinged, messy and nearly improvised.


Noisymute

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Reply #9 on: February 11, 2021, 11:24:24 AM
Yeah I get what you mean it can be a bit jokey but it's brilliant once you get into it. Big difference between all the albums as well so if you don't like one, that won't necessarily apply to the others.

Most straightforward by a mile is the latest one. I wasn't enamoured with it.

Disco Volante is one of those records that defies categorisation. Just plain unique, even within the Mr Bungle discography. I think a lot of people are put off by the first album as its more of an eclectic mixture of discernible styles which can come of as whacky/immature on initial listens.

A lot of DV’s weird direction probably came from associating with the likes of John Zorn on the first album, listen to Naked City or some of his more avant grade stuff (Once saw him play the organ in Dundalk Cathedral with a toilet roll), though I’d imagine a certain amount of the reasoning behind the disjointed oddness on DV was to antagonise and stir argument with their record label. Spruance did take a lot of the themes and ideas further with the Secret Chiefs 3 collective.


ochoill

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Reply #10 on: February 11, 2021, 11:57:18 AM
...though I’d imagine a certain amount of the reasoning behind the disjointed oddness on DV was to antagonise and stir argument with their record label. Spruance did take a lot of the themes and ideas further with the Secret Chiefs 3 collective.

I think most of the oddness just comes from how they wrote the material.  Reading an interview with Spruance lately (more about California than DV bit still plenty about it in it), he mentions how they operated out of a graveyard of ideas, pulling them out to flesh out other ideas and revisiting small sections that were then elaborated out into full songs - a later example being Vanity Fair, which was just the bass loop at the start left over from antoher DV session, claimed by Patton and sped up to be turned into what it is on California.  A large portion of what people imagine Spruance wrote for DV based on SC3 was actually Patton too, "Desert Search..." was apparently entirely Patton but fans often put it to Spruance.  Ars Moriendi too.  Not saying there's not a crossover, of course there is, but hilariously the themes usually called up for it are not Spruance's creation at all.