17th March 2017 – Throatruiner Records
01. Parmi Les Ruines
04. Les Gémonies
Being a fan of caustic, noisy music is all about finding something that hits you at just the right angle to unnerve or unsettle you, or that adds something to the massive pool of “unsettling noises.” There’s a lot of it about, but you pretty quickly get a sense for what pushes your particular buttons.
Fange‘s Pourrissoir is nebulous, ferocious and largely formless. It’s Black Flag by way of modern sludge; you’re not so much listening to songs as witnessing the ebb and flow of white-hot rage. First track “Parmi Les Ruines” opens with raw screaming before the song starts to materialise around it, smothering it like a warm goo. This pretty much sets the tone for the record; “Agapes” follows with some crackly, urgent static and emerges into a riff-y number. This theme continues throughout, all the way up to closing track “Ressac“.
The play between noisy elements and beefy sludge riffs borders is pretty balanced, and indulgences on either side are handled well; mid-point “Ultrafrance” sounds heavily influenced by power electronics, their starkest foray into electronic elements. It’s only just over the two-minute mark; a brief foray into something dark beyond the sludge/hardcore framework. The blend works for the effect they want to create, and there’s a wider palette than you’d expect from an average sludge band. There is a sense that this is presented as experimental when a lot of the ground has been trodden before, but even with multiple listens I didn’t feel like anything stuck out as stale.
It’s not just cacophony; there are some structures to the proceedings, but they’re a little hard to spot. In the dense noisescape there are moments of atonality which help to mark key moments; this is notable in the opener which features some harsh squeals that round off an effectively belligerent track rather tastefully. With the monstrous “Les Gémonies“, they’re used to add extra flavour and tension to the ambient post-metally bits at the beginning of the track.
It is the Year of Our Lord 2017 and the discerning listener doesn’t have to search hard for things that will challenge or frighten them. Pourrissoir hit the spot for me, and you’d have to be a hard bastard for it not to have an impact for you too. Even if a lot of the ideas here have a fairly obvious genesis, the difference between me spinning this again is in the moment of going “ooh.” This record made me go “ooh.” It pushed my buttons. Listen at your peril.