Black Hole of Calcutta
Black Hole of Calcutta LP

So here’s another reason to own a record player (and a cassette player);  Sacred Plague Records. And one of their recent releases  is the second effort from Chico, California’s Black Hole of Calcutta, a noisy, primal punk/grind/hardcore collaboration featuring members of The Makai, Transient and Mammoth Torta.

Named after a 1756 incident where 146 prisoners were placed in 14 x 18 dungeon cell in Calcutta and 123 of them died, this LP features some killer artwork (with a cool skeletonized version on the back)  on a chipboard sleeve and some equally impressive if raw music on the clear or black vinyl (I got the black). The style of BHOC is a very analog form of crust/grind that initially sounds pretty sloppy, a fact which is not helped by a vocalist who sounds like he’s out of breath while delivering his screams and growls. However, the energy of the music more than makes up for the lack of tight musicianship. At times, the music reminds me of the early 90 late 80s punk/crust coming out of the UK such as Unseen Terror, Deviated Instinct, Napalm Death and  Cerebral Fix.

Other than 4 tracks (opener “One”,  “Survive”, ‘Parasites” and closer “Being Young, Outta Luck”), the 12 tracks are short,  bursts of dirty power chord/d-beat gallops , loose blasts and feedback drenched lurches. Throw in aforementioned, often exasperated growls and roars, a mix that seems to vary from track to track and you get the potential for a real basement quality piece of music. However, on the  strength of the riffs and sheer, raw energy, it comes together to form something rather enjoyable.

The LP breaks down into 6 tracks per side and while none of the tracks really standout, each side of the LP delivers a rather addicting sound. Seeing as BHOC play the kind of music that’s perfectly suited for vinyl, you can let some of the sloppy sounds slide as they still manage to create a sonic havoc that’s brutal yer catchy. The likes of “Deathtube”,” Teeth”, “Parasites” punky “Humans=Earth’s Slow Death”,  and the closer “Being Young, Outta Luck” just kind of maul you into liking them as its about as honest and DIY sounding as anything from the 80s, but with some 90s bite and snarl.

Throw this release in with Abaddon‘s 2008 effort,  Life Out of Balance, I Fail’s Highways EP, and the United Sons of Toil LP as well as the recent Impatience cassette, and Krang LP gives you a whole bunch of reasons to go to some Good Will store or garage sale and grab an old school stereo record/cassette player, hit Sacred Plague’s webstore then  throw on some denim and rock the fuck out.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 17th, 2012

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