Hostage Pageant - Barren Terminals LP
Cautious to avoid the pervasive threat of monotony in noise music, Hostage Pageant mixes it up with welcome regularity on the two sides of Barren Terminals. One might suspect this to be a pretty straight-up harsh noise affair, however, Shane Church must've felt he didn't have much wax to waste; this is a nicely varied mélange which encopasses a wide breadth of suspense and pyrotechnics that can be coaxed out of basic objects and electricity. Plot-thickening diversion tactics are utilized, switching between full on wake-the-dead noise blasts and softened basement creaking—grabs you by the ears and shakes you silly, then wanders off into a corner to dig through some scrap, leavening you even more unnerved by the sudden aloofness. Kind of a more verse-chorus approach of Pedestrian Deposit’s (for a time) often used method of slowly charging up the raw materials and then unleashing an unfettered assault. Mr. Church has been doing it a while, and thus seems capable of delivering material that seems to occur in a natural acoustic setting without the baggage of any identifiable name-brand electronics hoisting up the proceedings. When Barren Terminals goes for the throat, it’s of a rusty, layered variety that makes me think of a beefed-up Meiosis. The amorphous photo on the sleeve resembles a rough terrain or treacherous waterfall to me, which would be in step with the way these two sides move like a splintering vessel down river, hitting a series of steep, life-threatening cataracts at irregular intervals. Thoughtful execution, full of queasy tension and wild turmoil. Get that gambler’s adrenaline going for the low price of premium burrito.