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Khanate | Things Viral | review | rock | Lollipop


Things Viral (Southern Lord)
by Brian Varney

The best way to prepare you for the auditory torture of Things Viral is an AV example, so what everyone reading at home needs to do is pull out your vinyl copy of Lysol by Melvins and take it down to that old turntable of your grandpa's in the basement, the one that has 16 and 78 speed settings. Set the speed at 16 and spin the opening minutes of the album, the ones where nothing much happens except the whole band hits a single massive note, waits a few seconds, does it again, and repeats this same pattern without variance for ten minutes. Add a singer who sounds like he binges and purges his diet of alcohol and black-market pain pills when he's not screaming himself raw and you've got an idea of the horror within.

Despite the band's lineage (members of Burning Witch and Sunn, among others) and the fact that they're on Southern Lord, I'm not even sure I'd classify something with this much space and so little guitar as "heavy." However, the emotional grind that even a few minutes of listening inflicts pretty much prevents you from calling it anything else. It's hard to really say anything definite about this - so itchy and unpleasant is the actual experience of listening to it that it's tough to say whether it's any good or not. If the band's aim is to lobotomize its audience, I'd say Things Viral is a rousing success. At least as effective as Naked City's Torture Garden at clearing your home of unwanted guests.
(PO Box 291967 Los Angeles, CA 90029)


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