The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Austin Powell, November 3, 2006, Music

Gorch Fock

Thrilller (Australian Cattle God)

Randall J. "Biscuit" Turner's solemn words near the end of "Cary Michael Jackson" encapsulate the purposely distorted aesthetic of Gorch Fock's third triumphant symphony of noise, Thrilller: "There is other things out there … the odd and the artistic, I've embraced that as well as you, and thank God, our lives are so much more rich because of that." It's the uncomfortable realm just beyond the cusp of one's understanding that this local septet knowingly and unnervingly exploits with its insistent, dissonant sludge. "One of Five Sisters" lulls the listener with a found-sound clip and repetitive drum-machine loop, then explodes like Big Black's Atomizer. The deafening drone of "Patience for the Swede" and "Sink Star" surpasses what the Melvins tried to capture with their double-drum setup on A Senile Animal, while "Fitzcarroldo" is a dense, minimalist composition that explores nihilism through trombone-accented, monolithic tones. Finally, with their interpretation of Scratch Acid's "Mary Had a Little Drug Problem," Gorch Fock revitalizes Austin's hallowed tradition of avant-garde absurdity, courtesy of the Butthole Surfers, Ed Hall, and the Fuckemos. Embrace yourself for the second coming.


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