Black Cock

Robot Child With a God Complex (Australian Cattle God)

Texas Platters

Black Cock

Robot Child With a God Complex (Australian Cattle God)

Stripped to bass and drums, Black Cock could be mistaken for another Jesus Lizard knockoff. Like Black Flag's Damaged, however, Robot Child derives its power from a stark, terrifying musical vision that subsumes and transforms an otherwise unremarkable rhythm section. Bandleader Chico Jones treats rock riffs as only the basic foundation of Robot Child's songs, most of the disc's compositional force coming from ingeniously produced vocals and a wide variety of keyboard sounds. Jones makes use of an incredible array of microphones and mixing techniques to turn the band's voices, layered into simple but darkly beautiful three-part harmony, into a hellish and unstable chorus, at times approaching something between Mike Patton's screeching randomness and a B-grade sci-fi version of Animal Collective. It's an extremely unconventional approach to punk rock, which yields the most unique disc Austin's Australian Cattle God has released so far.

***.5

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