NOOTHGRUSH Live For Nothing CD

Another bewildering/awesome Metal band name.   

Live For Nothing is a respectable document of a grey-fated SF Sludge band from the 90s—who have reformed to play "reunion" shows (though I know they are secretly just "shows" in their mind). Though it's a mix from a couple of live radio performances, the songs themselves are LP-worthy tight and the band in this context comes across as angsty, nervous and self-deprecatingly funny. See album title. (I'm starting to think the funniest people are always in Metal bands--especially Black Metal bands, though in this case the members aren't actually aware of it).

Superficialities aside, the songs are what you would expect from Sludge—the meaty riffs move like molasses, are epic (even Zepplinesque occasionally), "crushing" (ubiquitous promotional adjective) and weirdly sexual. I don't listen to too much contemporary RnB (i.e., suburban bubble bath music) but to me this is as close to rutting as you can get aurally. Not exactly romantic, I know.

Certain songs stand out: "Gage" is an anthemic and Doomish victory lap.  "Evazan" is the best 23 second Quik-Sludge tune I've heard lately, if only for the Star Wars inspired lyrics:

"[Indecipherable] doesn't like you. I don't like you either".

"Erode the Person" at 8 minutes, 42 seconds, is a stare-at-the wall trans-fix-shun. Sprawling, at times catatonically minimal, tense and so unconsciously anti-social it's almost kind of sad.

Production on the record is a small issue here and there—the tom-toms sound dwarf-slapped for e.g.—but the overall ambience is otherwise "crushing," and it is live, so who cares? Expect  "workman-like" vocals of course (Metal's "struggle").

Records like this should probably only be 15 minutes long at the most, so it's easy to get restless on this chunky whopper. The songs sound cloned after awhile. Still, the more one listens to this stuff the more it makes you wanna hump a supporting beam at a basement show. [Southern Lord]

-Jeff Mooridian Jr.


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