Those of you that read IG on the regular or follow me on social media know that I’m always up for some good noise rock. As such, White Spot’s Father Songs proved to be one of 2015’s most pleasant surprises so far, a noise rock album that showcased mainman/madman Marcus Lemoine’s knack for concise yet devastating songwriting and an attention to craftsmanship not often seen within the genre.
Fast forward six months, and Lemoine is back at it with Everything Changes, Nothing Disappears, and this time out he’s created an even more compellingly ugly soundscape, rife with jagged guitars and sludgy, bludgeoning bass, accompanied by some of the most pained-sounding vocals you’re likely to hear this year. It’s violent and jarring and beautiful all at the same time; how Lemoine manages to pull it off without it devolving into a total train-wreck is anyone’s guess, but pull it off he does, better than 99.9% of what passes for noise rock these days.
As harsh and intense as White Spot often is, there is also a poignant quality at play that often reminds me a bit of Harvey Milk. Much like that legendary sludge band, Lemoine balances heaviness with vulnerability in a way that never comes off as contrived, making for a listening experience that is strangely heartfelt in addition to being sonically crushing. It is this quality that sets Lemoine’s songwriting apart from that of other acts treading similar paths; whereas so many modern noise rock bands are only interested in mangling your mind with angular riffage, White Spot understands that extreme dissonance and sluggish tempos can be used to convey emotions other than anger.
While it’s plenty evident that Lemoine has stepped up his already considerable songwriting game for Everything Changes, Nothing Disappears, he has also improved upon his recording technique, making this a heavier, more layered affair that Father Songs. All instruments are audible, but Lemoine wisely keeps a little grit ‘n’ grime in the mix to give the recording some rough edges. I don’t have any information on how the album was recorded, but it is impressive to hear a self-released, one-man project bring such clarity and heft to their work.
What ultimately makes Everything Changes, Nothing Disappears such a satisfying listen is that it both expands upon and intensifies White Spot’s discordant yet tuneful assault. If you’re into noise rock, post hardcore and the like, you owe it to yourself to get familiar with Mr. Lemoine’s rapidly expanding body of work, ASAP. The album is available as pay-what-you-want download or as an extremely limited cassette via Bandcamp.