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Porn | The Men of | Experiments in Feedback | review | noise | rock | Lollipop

Porn (The Men of)

Experiments in Feedback (Small Stone)
by Brian Varney

Why this 10-track, 60+ minute mind-melting behemoth is labeled an EP escapes me. I don't confuse terribly easily, but I suppose mental confusion is damn near a guaranteed by-product of heavy exposure to the monstrosity that is Experiments in Feedback.

Heavy, noisy, experimental. Those are the three words you're bound to hear whenever this CD is mentioned, so let's get them out of the way now. Yes, this band and this CD are all three, but don't confuse them with the others squatting on this same bombed-out terrain. Neither as doomy as fellow Man's Ruin (R.I.P.) alums Acid King, nor as maddening as the Melvins at their most, uh, maddening, Porn manage to retain the punishing heaviness you'd expect from a glance at the members' resumes (Swans and Buzzoven, among others) while sidestepping any of the nasty after-effects associated with those bands.

There are moments of artiness, sure; take, for instance, the aptly-titled closer, "Loop," which consists of 18 seconds of feedback looped for 14 minutes, and the three tracks simply labeled "Feedback." There are also three (count 'em) versions of Motörhead's "I'll Be Your Sister." One's a thumping, punkish raver, and the other two are swirling, sopor-fueled gusts of sluggishness that curlicue off into nothing. And there's a harsh, 12-minute version of Pink Floyd's "One of These Days" that'll have your head swimming by the halfway mark.

So I guess it sounds pretty artsy-fartsy after all, huh? Well, I suppose so, but not enough to ruin any fun to be had. There are some tough moments, but it's not the brutal punishment of trying to play an entire Earth CD. What Experiments in Feedback reminds me of more than anything is prime-era Butthole Surfers. Porn isn't nearly as psychedelic or insane as the Buttholes, but there's something about the grungy grinding that brings to mind "22 Going on 23," Locust Abortion Technician's awe-inspiring closer. And, provided you don't have to share a bathroom with them, the Buttholes are some pretty good neighbors.
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