I’ve been listening to various forms of heavy music for a long time, and as the years go on, my attention span gets shorter and shorter, especially when it comes to choosing bands to write about. Basically, if your band can’t pique my interest within the first thirty seconds of the first song (excluding intros), consider yourselves SOL. This has made it increasingly difficult to discover new acts to cover, as it seems that much of the scene is currently plagued by a complete and total lack of ability to self-edit.
Thankfully, even in this era where bloat is king, there are still bands out there that understand the importance of values such as concise songwriting and quality over quantity, bands like Mansura, Louisiana’s White Spot. White Spot is a one man affair, and while this little tidbit might cause you to immediately think either black metal or harsh noise, mastermind Marcus Lemoine treads a very different path, hewing closer to the gnarly-ass noise rock of bands such as Unsane, The Jesus Lizard and Shellac. Father Songs is his second recording under this moniker, and it’s an expertly crafted slab of nastiness that sounds like a long lost Amphetamine Reptile release circa 1995.
Father Songs clocks in at a svelte sixteen minutes, and it says more in that brief timespan than most critical darlings can muster in an hour or more. Songs such as “The Fall” and “Alive” are short as can be, but they are characterized by sturdy, nuanced riffs and subtle dynamic shifts that make them feel complete. There isn’t a single wasted note to be found within the album’s confines and at times it’s almost as if Lemoine is applying a grindcore-esque approach to noise rock.
The album as a whole is characterized by a seething nervous tension that cries out for release but is hopelessly trapped inside its own claustrophobic world. This isn’t to say that Father Songs never unleashes its pent up rage, it does, but Lemoine shows a ton of restraint throughout the album, which makes those ultra-corrosive moments that much more impactful. Again, it’s all about those aforementioned songwriting dynamics that allow Father Songs to run through a wide array of moods and textures within a very short amount of time.
Overall, Father Songs is not just a pleasant surprise but also an early favorite for 2015. It’s evident that White Spot is a project with loads of potential and I look forward to seeing Lemoine continue to develop and expand upon his sound. In the meantime, fans of everything from the aforementioned classic noise rock bands to newer acts such as KEN Mode and Kowloon Walled City should make it a priority to sink their fangs into this one, ASAP.