But Listen: 054: 3ulogy – What You Don’t Want To Hear

It is now 13 months since I last touched upon recorded output from this band – the demo CD I reviewed then did get a release of sorts a little further down the line, with one track jettisoned and then the remainder shuffled into a new order.

What You Don’t Want To Hear
Label: self-released
Catalog#: not known
Buy from:: no longer available

And then, all went quiet on the band front for the rest of 2006, the members concentrating on their myriad other projects as well as other aspects of their life. And now, five months into 2007, we are beginning to see the first live gigs in some time and now this, the new CD.

Despite musings to the contrary, what is presented here are eight brand-new songs, on what is I believe their third release in four years or so. And again, like last time, they have progressed, at least in some areas, in leaps and bounds.

The CD opens with Pathetic, the initial swirling electronics masking the CD’s first surprise – what amounts to a beat in swing time. Otherwise, things are as you might expect. Nick spits his vocals out, Marc’s guitar works as a useful foil to the beat, and John’s synths fill every available gap. A good song, but I can’t help but think I have heard them tread similar ground in the hate-filled lyrics more than once before.

You Are The Enemy is a little slower, like a catch of the breath after the fury before it, and while the chorus has a fantastic step change in key and almost everything else, Nick’s vocals appear to be been buried too far down, fighting with the other elements for prominence, resulting in something of a muddy finish.

That is made all the more puzzling by the brilliant clarity of On Your Knees, where after a slow start the beats simply hammer down the door and rip through the space behind, and every single piece of the track meshes together brilliantly, including daring seconds of silence before the baton is picked up again.

Carbonise arrives in a flurry of blurred and distorted beats, and then the sound of Nick breathing, almost as if one kill has been completed and the second is to follow. It is a fantastically taut track, with a 30 second sample acting as a buffer between the two very different sections of the track. What is odd is that there are no discernable guitars, and no vocals other than screams and the horror samples – and it is heavier, more punishing and downright threatening than 3ulogy have ever attempted. It also sounds absolutely astonishing when played very, very loud, too.

Constant Abuse feels like a very similar track in scope to Pathetic, with a similarly constructed sound, minus the swing beat, but seems a much more complete track. Nothing is better again, with far more prominent guitar work and again a highly unusual-sounding beat structure, before a really odd, high-pitched squeal of what appears to be guitar spirals over the impressively melodic chorus. It is also the first track, it seems, not to be filled with self-absorbing hatred on the CD, which makes it stand out all the more.

Punish is a very short (two minutes-and-a-bit) interlude of industrial clanking, hissing, and sampling, that seems like it might work well if stretched out rather more as an introduction to something. It certainly doesn’t feel like an introduction to closer What You Don’t Want To Hear, which explodes into your conciousness in the form of a (very) fast tempo, aggressive vocals (snarled very, very close into the mic), and some clever switching of effects between speakers, not to mention the track being the first true vocal collaboration between Nick and John – or at least it sounds like it is. It also again uses the clever tactic of stretching until breaking point the moments of calm in the track, before the fast pace whiplashes back into being. The track ends in great fashion, too, with a swift attack of blastbeats before the vocals are left to repeat the title again.

Despite their possible advice, this is something that you do want to hear. While making their sound ever more aggressive, technically they have advanced again, with a brilliantly clear production in the main, that many bands with label support behind them can’t match. There are exceptions to this, as mentioned before, but in the main it all feels the mark of a band that have done a lot of growing up, and, I suspect, have yet more musical development ahead of them, which are awaited with keen interest.

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