If you ever do something wrong and plan on punishing yourself, then this rusty screwdriver of an album by the Austin, TX based acid industrial band Quttinirpaaq will be a good method of torture. No Visitors is a scraping, plodding mess of inhuman noises and droning basslines, ready to encompass and consume the listener without even a glimpse of mercy. Between the Public Castration is a Good Idea era Swans and the slowest, most chaotic moments of Sightings, this is thick as magma and about as caustic as a vat of sulfur acid. Heavy and unforgiving. Recommended!
And so I send out massive hails to the following mainstays of these Head Heritage transmissions: to Stone Breath, to Orthodox, The Heads, Gnod, Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, Bibilic Blood, Urthona, Hey Colossus, Grady Runyan, Acid Mothers Temple, Om, Sturmpercht, Bong, Comets on Fire, To Blacken The Pages, Father Murphy, Sunburned Hand Of The Man, Temple of Bon Matin, Qa’a, San Francisco Water Cooler, Sunn0))), Sacrificial Totem, Quittinirpaaq, Valley Of Ashes, and to Khanate, natch. To all of you and anyone else I’ve left out, a huge thanks for keeping my Mental Health so rigorously in check. Your glory will only increase with time for shit-damned-sure. And to all the facilitators of this monumental underground overlode – to Holy McGrail, to Coldspring Records, to Dark Holler, to the Seth Man, to Crucial Blast, to Utech Records, to Heart & Crossbone, to Steinklang, to Boring Machines, to Southern Lord, to Rocket Recordings, to Alone Records, to Ole Knudsen, to Stephen (SOMA) O’Malley, to all who drive things forwards. Generosity has been your password; let everyone know that to Sustain is Everything! And how you have sustained, Motherfuckers! Thank you, all, thank you, thank you.
Quttinirpaaq – Let’s Hang Out
One of the great things about writing for Freq sometimes is that you get to hear some artists or albums you may not have stumbled across before. Quttinirpaaq is one of those artists. This LP comes on beautiful limited-edition coloured vinyl and is housed in a remarkable witch house-looking sleeve with an insert that hints of industrial music of old. It’s a feast for the eyes and I haven’t even given the thing a spin yet.
Side one opens with “Diary of a Pig Keeper’s Wife,” a heavy guitar drone interspersed with what sounds like chiming percussion but could also be electronics. Haunting voices from beyond the grave are buried beneath this aural assault. It seems to remind me of what SunnO)) and Throbbing Gristle would sound like if they could have ever joined forces. “Chinese Hercules” has a big Sabbath sounding guitar riff over some frantic drumming. Distorted vocals call from afar and the sound is reminiscent of early Butthole Surfers; in fact I feel all late ’80s and early ’90s again, and boy what a powerhouse riff it has – fantastic to blast the hell out of your speakers with. “Stork” starts with a rolling brontosaurian bass that tumbles through angular guitar chords and feedback lead over a tough drum sound. This explosion of noise veers into Suckdog territory at times but is never derivative – it’s just an overall feel of the piece and the tremolo vocals are excellent. This all broods and builds like a giant monster about to attack planet earth.
“Guess What Happened to Mr Incredible?” has bizarre crashes and smashes and strange astronaut vocals, and reminds me of Coil for the two minutes it lasts. “Man Without a Body” has wild clanking electronic rhythms among the sound of other instruments trying to catch up with its misplaced beat. Here we move into early Severed Heads territory as synth noise and odd-shaped sounds fall from your speakers all over the pulsing beat. Its a beat that can’t keep still though as it stutters and stammers its way around, leaving an awkward space for the instruments on top. The eerie choir sound at the end adds an unnerving effect to the song. “A Golden Sheriff’”is an odd backward loop over which an organ plays chords that mysteriously hang in the air as backward guitar fades in and out.
Side two starts with “vamosamartarsantana,” which has a massive heavy riff that pulls on all its psychedelic powers like an Acid Mothers Temple song spawned in hell. This is bad trip psych that will destroy your brain and get you to join a devil cult in the desert somewhere. “Cop Boner” has more intense riffing with noise laden guitar over the top, like Electric Wizard had plugged themselves into an SPK noise machine whilst still worshipping Satan on a cold Dorset moor. It’s an odd amalgamation that somehow works well and assaults your ears until you have nowhere left to hide.
A steady ‘rock’ drum beat starts what almost sounds like a sixties Stooges song with “Let Merv Drive.” It’s the bass here that plays the central role, with a continuous riff that pummels your brain into submission. It feels relentless as guitar noise crashes over the top; this is get on your motorcycle music as you head out to join the Manson family. “Old Whiskey Shoes” hangs ambiently and hovers above ground level like a heat haze, a dull throbbing sound like your own heartbeat as noises shimmer over it; but the track never hits the ground and you are left suspended there. One of the best track titles I’ve ever heard follows next: “A Secret History of Belgian Dog Owners” has a light bass motif over which piano and organ seem to play what sounds like part of the soundtrack to Dr Phibes punctuated by various guitar feedback noise. After all the power riffs on this side it gives the album a melancholy ending and the tracks abrupt stop makes you jump back to reality with a jolt.
This is an album that takes time to explore as various sounds are thrown at you, so you have no idea quite where you are heading next. It has strange juxtapositions in it but still manages to be a unified whole at the same time, and would also make the perfect soundtrack on your next trip to the Sphan Ranch.
From an outsider perspective, there is absolutely nothing about Quttinirpaaq that is of picturesque scenery. You’re instantly greeted by its generic album cover, which depicts a slightly out-of-focus, Claymation monstrosity engulfed in a reddish glow; the very sort of artwork that once splattered the horror & sci-fi canvas of all corner video stores during the late 80’s monomania of VHS hype. I’m of course referencing such classics as C.H.U.D., Ghoulies, Troll and the swarm of addictive cheese that invoked its hypnagogic voodoo magik upon anyone willing to roll the dice. Upon first glance, the album cover is amusing, cryptic, but mostly corny, as the seemingly dumbfounded expression of the creature arouses suspicion that the mystery of Quttinirpaaq has already been solved.
In recent years, it’s been far too often that the noise-rock genus is tainted by the barnacles leeching off the goliaths, which has ultimately turned a once-enticing nebula into a cheap and artificial incubator where only a few, quality denizens reside. It’s not completely off-putting in a sense that one may find this particular album title — Let’s Hang Out — to be quite intriguing. Judging from its open-ended title, the invitation to step through its subliminal portal and digest whatever garbage it has to offer is at the very least, a tempting suggestion. Fortunately, after repeated listens, my initial intuitions proved to be sorely ill conceived, as I found myself tangled within this enigmatic beast’s web of mutant catatonia.
Although sharing its name with an isolated national park stationed in the far-northern Canadian wilderness, the only other distinguishing characteristic that links the two subjects is a frigidly raw disconnection from the rest of the planet. What little is known about the group is unimportant other than that they apparently hail from Texas, which would explain the shockwaves felt from the likes of Scratch Acid, Butthole Surfers and MDC crawling into the mix. Like their previous release, No Visitors, much of Let’s Hang Out is scrubbed in doomy, bombed-out jams that implore the black-clad guitar rituals of Sabbath, the psychotronic scorch of the early Meat Puppets LPs, and the sludge whirlwind of My War-era Black Flag, side two (sans vocals). The Amphetamine Reptile catalog also seems like a plausible influence here, with songs such as “Chinese Hercules” and “Let Merv Drive” barreling through muddied crud walls with a gutter-like revulsion. The same goes for “Stork,” a herk-jerk garbage rocker that sounds like a grandiose orchestration of a Cows and Melvins one-off. During its three-minute unraveling, the guitars asphyxiate throughout, as if dipped in motor oil, while the amps roast to perfection. The percussion, while buried in layers of unbridled clang, thud like cardboard tom-toms rumpled from overuse. The track abruptly grinds to a halt, and dispels into the wasteland atmospherics of the equally punishing “Guess What Happened to Mr. Incredible?”
While Quttinirpaaq does their share of unleashing a slew of crushing guitar numbers, they occasionally deviate from traditional instrumentation with the odd electronic mash-up. Take “Man Without a Body” — a diced-up, slippery bastard that squiggles about in a fuss, as if concocted from sheer tension and uncontained electricity. Like its name suggests, the track flails back and forth, almost calling for some form of restraint, with moaning, zombified vocals floating to the surface every now and again. Its sonic workout on the synapses channels the electronic bleat of Throbbing Gristle, the found sounds of Cabaret Voltaire and the fuzzed-up squall and skronk of Whitehouse. A fine combination I might add for anyone looking to cleanse the mind, and it that doesn’t do the trick, than look no further than “Cop Boner.” From its onslaught, your ears are clogged in buckets of hot ash, blackened reverb and screeching electronics. And if that’s not enough to fry your brain, then try headphones.
Though most of the excursions undertaken by Quttinirpaaq on Let’s Hang Out tip the scales in terms of magnitude, there also seems to an unfinished dynamic to some of the tracks, as if the band ran out of fumes while recording. The two-minute “A Secret History of Belgian Dog Owners” is an example of this. Considering the overall heaviness and this being the album’s closer, this quick interlude pales in comparison, with its light offering of trebly fuzz and hushed organ brewing at low temps. It gets off to a nice start, softly sputtering through swampy textures, before altogether dissipating into a dust trail of nothingness. While this shortcoming is at best, a minor gripe, it furnishes the band in a different light, suggesting that there’s more to the story than just a bunch of blackened noise. Either way, I’m sticking around for the next album.
Buy Quttinirpaaq’s Let’s Hang Out here.
And Don’t miss Quttinirpaaq’s upcoming show at the Maverick Music Festival.
QUTTINIRPAAQ - NO VISITORS
QUTTINRPAAQ - LET’S HANG OUT
(LPs from quttinirpaaq)
With a sonic palette that ranges from industrial clouds of distorted drone infested noise that choke you to the ground through to megalith riffs that kick you while you are down there, the music of this Texan Band is neither subtle or suitable for an evening church service. It is however, bloody good especially served at ear-bleeding volume and a full glass in hand.
The opening salvo on “No Visitors” sums it all up with “Suburban Roulette” re-inventing the word distorted before “Malvert” pummels your brain with its incessant beat and dark vibe. After further noise and confusion, plus a brief moment of less chaotic drone, the Sabbath meets Mono of “Dmtbrigman” crfunches its way into your skull, swarming electronics and a monster riff stomping on your synapses with glee and malice. With a tribal demonic stomp, the much stranger/weirder “Bad Ronald”is almost danceable in a primitive kinda way, the side rounded off by “Becombs” more distortion as an art form, phew.
With not much info on either album it is hard to fathom what is going on most of the time, electronics mixing with guitar/feedback, beats with real drummers and vocals so fucked up their meaning is lost in the storm. None of this makes the slightest difference to the listening experience though as side two continues in the same vein, featuring three longer tracks, with the slower pulse of “Golden Needles” adding a much needed change of pace, if not mood, in the middle before “Horsehead Bookends” ends it all in a squall of guitar distortion. On glorious Red Vinyl as well, result.
Released in the same year (2013) on clear vinyl with blood-red splatters, “Let’s Hang Out” is possibly even more intense and focused than the previous disc, slightly slower and doom laden with a tendency to creep up your spine and throttle your senses. Opening with the wonderfully titled “Diary of a Pig Keepers Wife” the music sound like it is being played at 16 rather than 33, that is until, the Stooges meets Paik guitar assault of “Chinese Hercules” crashes into your life,ramping the album up a notch with relentless fury. This energy is raised again on “Stork” a song that makes Killing Joke sound pleasant, whilst the distorted electronic Aphex inducing “Man Without a Body” is another sonic pathway in the band diabolical soundscape, the album side ended with the almost mellow “A Golden Sheriff”, a sweet little tune that remains strange and lysergic as well.
Over on side two the fun continues, waves of guitar destruction and riffage, the ever present electronic hordes and dark beats vying for attention, by this time in the review I am happy just to let it all roll over me taking me into oblivion, suffice to say the intensity did not let up one iota. (Simon Lewis)
Quttinirpaaq - Let’s Hang Out
Well I wasn’t expecting this. The bizarrely named Quttinirpaaq (apparently it’s a Canadian national park) have just unleashed a fine slab of sludgey, lowend noise rock, with a number of effective ambient and drone instrumental interludes. Following No Visitors, Let’s Hang Out is the second album from these Austin, Texas, based psychedelic noiseniks within a year, and on this one there’s no holding back. Some of this had me thinking of early Terminal Cheesecake, and round these parts that’s no bad thing. But that doesn’t become apparent for some time, before that we’re treated to the unsavoury delights of ‘Diary Of A Pig Keeper’s Wife’ which kicks off Let’s Hang Out with a lumbering looped roar, rhythmic lashings cut with background chants and wails caught behind a bunch of high end frequencies before lunging into ‘Chinese Hercules’ with its scorching hypno-Black Sabbathesque riffing, distant holler and rampaging bass running up and down the scales, loaded with frequencies and effects. By this point Let’s Hang Out is throwing up comparisons with heavyweights such as Gravitar, Butthole Surfers with a wee bit of Skullfower chucked in for good measure. ‘Stork’, meanwhile, hits upon a savage clipped riffing that’s right out of the Chrome Half Machine Lip Moves songbook. It’s a stunning black psychedelic space jam that abruptly cuts into the dirty ambient textures and explosive rhythms of ‘Guess What Happened To Mr Incredible?’. It’s clear then that Let’s Hang Out isn’t all about guitars pushed into the red. That goes for ‘Man Without A Body’ too as electronic rhythms infused with an element of distortion rattles and pulse, with brief interjections of cut-up voices. The atmo keys and backward shifting sound of ‘A Golden Sherriff’ which closes the first side settles into an uneasy quiet presence that up till now Quttinirpaaq didn’t seem capable of.
And as good as the first side of Let’s Hang Out is, Quttinirpaaq really deliver the goods on the flip side where they really let loose with some seriously wigged out psychedelic noise. If you dig Terminal Cheesecake, especially the earlier Wiiija releases, you’re gonna fucking adore what follows. From tape treatments ‘Vamos A Martar Santana’ hurtles into some serious druggy distorted riffing, warped vocal outbursts rooted around pummelling low-end bass and some frantic drum rhythms. Things slow down a bit on the sludgey ‘Cop Boner’; a crazy melding of the Butthole Surfers and Terminal Cheesecake, while the expansive ‘Let Merv Drive’ locks into a deep pummelling bass boom over simple drum beats as guitars career into overdrive with the voice reduced to a mere background murmur. Words really aren’t necessary when the music is such a blast. Quttinirpaaq excel at sludgey, grinding sound laced with elements of noise, and a penchant for blissed out ambience and drone. Just listen to the drifting tones and dubby rhythms of ‘Old Whisky Shoes’. Some dub bass would really have elevated this one but, hey, that’s just my opinion. The haunted mellotron riddled with industrial effects and feedback of ‘A Secret History of Belgian Dog Owners’ is an unlikely closer but like ‘Old Whisky Shoes’ it shows Quttinirpaaq’s willingness to experiment, to take the sound into other areas.
Let’s Hang Out is something of a find. Sure there’s little cohesion at times; it’s not exactly a concept album and there are some abrupt cuts. It is however a stunning psychedelic noise record. Limited to 300 copies on clear vinyl in blood splattered spray with full colour insert. Psychedelic noise heads won’t want to miss this. Check out the samples on bandcamp and go buy.
Brutal stuff. I first heard these Texan psych-thugs on that killer little CDR they put out on Faunasabbatha a few years ago, and had been looking forward to hearing more of their lysergic sludgy noise rock ever since. You know all of those super-heavy sludgy Melvins-esque tracks that you’d find some of the earlier Butthole Surfers albums? These guys have built their whole sound around that vibe, but have taken it and cranked the noise and distortion and weirdness into the stratosphere, blending it with an extreme in-the-red assault that is in some ways akin to the ultra-distorted psych rock of Japanese bands Mainliner and High Rise, the vocals an unintelligible moan or howl lost in a storm of echo, and mixed way off in the background. The results are punishing.
No Visitors is the band’s debut, a ten song eruption of hyper-distorted churning psych-violence that fuckin’ caved my head in from the start. Opener “Suburban Roulette” is all teeth-gnashing garbled chaos, a chaotic formless mass of glitchy distorted heaviness and fractured downtuned noise that quickly leads into the propulsive groove of “Malvert”, a sinister motorik workout that layers malevolent whispered vocals and some sinister droning bass over that pounding hypnotic drumbeat, paving the way for the squalls of horrific noise and effects-garbled filth that the band increasingly begins to unleash across their thudding hypno-rock. From there, they move on to the hideous, ultra-heavy caveman crush of “Ex-Batts”, a sludgy psych freakout so slow and punishing that I had to double-check the speed on my turntable to make sure I had it playing correctly; this song is monstrous, syrupy Sabbathian crush slowed down to absurd levels, melted down into an indistinct rumbling dirge, the crushing heaviness infested with all sorts of harsh electronic debris. Some subdued ambient dronescapes emerge on “Travolto”, followed by the delay-drenched chug and screeching noise rock of “Dmtbrigman”, the pummeling tribal drum workouts that rage beneath the bizarre vocal samples and squelchy malfunctioning electronics of “Bad Ronald”, and the drooling sludge rock abuse of “Becombs”.
There’s more of that shambling hypnotic heaviness on the b-side, the nearly eight minute “Lohlands” sounding like a crushing sludge metal outfit draped in backwards vocals and howling modem noise and creepy background sounds, the sludgy guitars grinding over those powerful tribal drums. The hallucinatory, almost techno-like thud of “Golden Needles” transforms that track into an intense, speaker-rattling trance-rock assault, evolving into a murderous corrosive loop-pulse layered in blackened buzzing synth noise. Closing with the murky feedback-vomiting sludge of “Horsehead Bookends”, the album wraps up with what is easily the heaviest thing on here, an absolutely skull-crushing assault of lurching slow-motion sludge, all bent and spastic, dragging itself through an ocean of hot glue, the massively distorted guitar emanating foul black waves of bone-rattling drone and feedback, the band’s immense downtuned rumble spreading out like a series of tectonic shocks, bomb-string-like powerchords flattening the rest of the instruments beneath their weight, the whole track proceeding to collapse further and further into a heap of smoking, sputtering amplifier carnage, finally dissolving into organ-like drones that stretch through the end of the album. Definitely something to check out if you’re addicted to ultra-heavy, agonal noise rock in the vein of Grey Daturas, Skullflower, Shit And Shine, etc. Limited to three hundred copies.
The Texan noise/psych band Quttinirpaaq returns with their second album of ferocious ultra-distorted hypno-rock, sporting a close-up of a plastic toy devil on the cover and bearing the vaguely creepy title Let’s Hang Out. It’s more of their ultra sonic overload, again resembling the blown out psych of Mainliner’s Mellow Out crossed with the Butthole Surfer’s heaviest, sludgiest acid-punk on a massive krautrock trip. And my god, is this album heavy. The opener alone sent shockwaves through the C-Blast office, the leaden, magnificently distorted death-sludge of “Diary of a Pig Keeper’s Wife” rumbling and crawling forth in a misshapen confusion of overdriven bass and glacial, almost industrial percussive pummel, guitars distorted into oblivion, the sound massively metallic and doom-laden, stained with weird howling synth-like effects. It’s as crushing as anything from Khanate or Trees, maybe even moreso, but it’s all over in less than three minutes, leading into the much more raucous blown-out psychedelic skullfuck of “Chinese Hercules”. All throughout Let’s Hang Out, Quttinirpaaq allow themselves to stretch their tattered black wings more fully in the longer tracks of hyper-distorted, looping psychedelia, evoking the sort of in-the-red distorto-psych that Japanese bands like Mainliner and High Rise pioneered, but fusing that sound to something more caveman-like, more primitive and reductionist, a kind of sludgy barbaric psychedelic noise rock built on repetitive rhythms and looping riffs that gradually become consumed in gales of howling feedback and extreme noise.
As on their previous record, there’s more than a little of that classic Butthole Surfers sound, but its elevated to new levels of heaviness and distorted ear-abuse. Tracks like “Stork”, “Let Merv Drive”, “Vamos A Matar Santana” and “Man Without A Body” are more focused, shorter blasts of that looping, circular trance-sludge, the almost metallic riffage woven into elliptical patterns over the motorik thud, a sense of menace wafting off of the band’s white-hot pounding grooves as they occasionally transform into crumbling, squelchy breakbeat-like rhythms or brutal noise-rock assaults slathered in some of the freakiest effects fuckery and wanton Mellotron abuse I’ve heard in ages. That stuff is countered by the album’s shorter interludes, like the crumbling, industrial doom of “Guess What Happened To Mr. Incredible?”, where overmodulated kick-drums explode like mortar shells over gorgeous drifting synthesizer melodies, almost Jesu-esque in it’s corroded, glimmering beauty, or the shuffling backwards sounds and eerie chamber strings on “Golden Sheriff” that have been mutated into twisted, ghostly malformed melodies, before stumbling into the dubby, muted spacedrone-jam “Old Whisky Shoes” and the moody, piano-laced closing track “A Secret History Of Belgian Dog Owners”.
Limited to three hundred copies, on colored vinyl.
Again without any fanfare, Texan sludge-fucked weirdniks Quttinirpaaq have sent me through their second album Let’s Hang Out (clear with red spatter vinyl too, very nice). Only a few months between this and the brutal No Visitors, and there is a nice disparity between the two. Sure there are still lots of blacker-than-white noise elements, but the industrial grind of ‘Man Without A Body’ that jerks like a Romero zombie coming at you in a blacked-out basement filled with strobe lights is a disconcerting delight. ‘Chinese Hercules’ is busy psych, a squalling mess that Lightning Bolt might smash together if stuck in a Krautrock nightmare; even the isolate coma of ‘Golden Sheriff’ doesn’t stay Forest Swords for long, disappearing into a hallucinatory slipstream that belies its short running time. The longer the song (eg ‘Let Merv Drive’) the more delicious the results. Seriously demented - seriously good.
I can’t remember; is it good not to be able to hear what’s going on in a song? Oh yeah, it is, we learned that through Psychic Paramount and Guardian Alien, did we not? Now that we’ve got that settled, allow me to present Quttinirpaaq, perhaps the only band with jams – and a moniker – even sloppier than Tonstartssbandht at their crustiest. But truth be told I’ve dealt with these Quttinirpaaqians before, and they will gnarl on your ear-bone like a rottweiler on a hunk of man-meat. Let’s Hang Out isn’t a go-through-the-motions proposition. You have to invest in what they’re doing or their sinewy ghost-chops will float right past you. ‘Round the end of Side A there’s a section that sorta sounds like I thought Cold Cave were going to sound like, before I actually heard them (and was disappointed). This Karps out just a bit, too, and it’s been wayyy too long since I thoughta that band, so thank you, Qutt-Qutt, for the privilege. Dare I mention Neptune, as well? (Yep, think I’d better.) This record, on clear-with-red-splatter wizard-wax, is… a mighty fine record! Ho-ho-ho muh-fucka; 300 copies.