This Face

Are you stressed out? Is your job getting to you? Has your wife been on your case about getting your share of the chores done around the house? Are you tired of shampooing the carpet where your renegade cat has been urinating? Are you coping with a debilitating and financially devastating methamphetamine habit? If you’ve answered yes to all of these questions, then my only recommendation would be to sit in the middle of your urine-stained floored, crank up Gnaw’s This Face to full volume ,and bring your life to a final, pathetic end.

Yes indeed, This Face will in fact push those of you teetering on the brink of insanity and/or personal tragedy right the fuck over that precipice. I mean, come on, did you really think a band featuring Alan Dubin (ex-Khanate, OLD) and Jamie Sykes (ex-Burning Witch, Thorr’s Hammer, Atavist) would make the kind of music heard on adult contemporary radio? With a lineup that also includes Carter Thornton (Enos Slaughter), Jun Mizumachi (renown TV/film sound designer), and Brian Beatrice (“Emmy award winning sound design/mix wizard” and guitarist/bassist/pianist and player of some “homemade things”), Gnaw is an aurally terrifying display of dissonance, yet is not without rhyme or reason. Once again, it’s all relative though, isn’t it?

Artistically speaking (as though I could actually speak from an artistic standpoint), the noise terrorism takes several different forms, none of which are soothing to the ears or conducive to anger management. However, through all the electronic-laced, feedback drenched, and tribally percussive clutter and clatter, This Face offers some memorable moments, like the mechanically morose groove and foot-dragging beat of “Vacant” (pieces of it actually reminded me of DANZIG’s “Sadistikal,” just pieces though). And who wouldn’t fall in love with lines like these? “You can hear them fucking / they’re all just outside the door / you can hear them laughing / Everybody’s fucking, but you.” You’ll feel a sudden need for a shower after that lovely little ditty, mark my words.

Even when Dubin’s black witchery screams subside (which ain’t often) and room is allowed for a clean chant of sorts on “Watcher,” the delivery doesn’t exactly make one think shiny, happy thoughts. It’s still demented, yet the impression is made. Your throat may go parch and your eyes may turn a crow’s feet red-and-white when the sounds of an electrified swarm of mutant bees is heard during “Talking Mirrors,” but those sounds will return in the form of R.E.M. sleep nightmares later on. And all that uncannily hypnotizing percussion does is make you grind the teeth and pick at your scabs, yet you’ll sneak back downstairs and listen to it again with a bottle of Wild Irish Rose in hand, after everyone else is asleep of course.

Do you get my drift? This is a filthy habit that you may not be able to kick. Try to rid yourself of the urge until someone plays a short sample in the background and you’ll be right back riding that horse. The well-adjusted are advised to steer clear. The remaining folks – all 13 of you – should just shoot this junk and get it over with. Life will only get worse.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
April 1st, 2009


  1. Commented by: Apollyon

    Hah! Hot dang! Excellent review, Scott!

    Gotta remember this album when the time comes.

  2. Commented by: Jodi

    Nice reference to Tyner…miss that dude

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