Bastard Noise / The Endless Blockade - The Red List (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Bastard Noise / The Endless Blockade

The Red List (2010)


Noise and grindcore, noise and grindcore: go together just like early Warsore. This I tell ya, brother...

The Red List, a split between Bastard Noise and the Endless Blockade, does it in a totally different way, though. Everything is much more controlled and orchestrated with hypertechnical rhythms and an electronic ambience that moves from annoying to punishing with various shades in between.

Bastard Noise is a side project of powerviolence pioneers Man Is the Bastard on the cusp of their 20-year anniversary. Often joined by guest musicians, their five contributions to this split are solely the work of Bastard Noise main members Eric Wood, Bill Nelson and Danny Walker.

"Movement Two" is the best Bastard Noise track, a violent, noisy, but technically sound instrumental that twists and weaves with complex time signatures in between all-out hammering hardcore. "Fallen Species" is a pretty cool progressive hardcore song that manages to stay fresh even at seven minutes while the lyrics convey a rather bleak outlook, as they do on most of the tracks: "Dead nucleus! Inside the worm chamber / Applaud disease, make it flourish with each breath / Scanners are among us now / Mind wars to the death! / Resist blackened greed / To all mutants on their way to death." The rest of the songs are either too long, or have too many obnoxious vocals like "U.S.A. Today" which is essentially sputtering white noise and Gollum-like growls. "Mutant World of Shame / Underworld" is a fairly good technical-grind-hardcore track, but the vocals are a little much to stomach at times.

Toronto, Canada's the Endless Blockade provide three tracks here. One "14+ minute modern power-violence epic" and two remixed tracks. The "modern power-violence epic" "Deuteronomy" is for the most part what one would expect, with plenty of blast beats, heavy, sludgy parts, but with quite a fair bit of noisy noodling in between the straightforward beginning and ending. "Advanced Directive" is an extremely abrasive remix that sounds like a long powerviolence song that was chopped and screwed by Paul Wall. But it's still better than the remix of "Model 49 Rebreather" which is literally nothing more than 15 minutes of the same monotonous static. How it qualifies as a remix I have no clue.

If you're a slave to noise, tech-grind, or extremely drawn out powerviolence, there's probably plenty to like on The Red List. But most readers probably won't find much to salvage from this niche release of underground extreme music.