Review: Uboa & Muddy Lawrence – The Apple of Every Eye (self-released, Jun 15)

It’s pretty surprising that my last few nights have been entirely nightmare-free. I’ve been watching a lot of scary, heavy, and emotionally taxing movies lately, including Ari Aster’s brilliant Hereditary, and now I’ve become wrapped up in a terrifying new collaborative EP from Uboa and Muddy Lawrence: The Apple of Every Eye. Pretty much everything about this release is frightening, from its deeply unsettling cover art to the simple but ominous description on the Bandcamp page: “If you can’t hide, show too much.” The music itself is dark, twisting, and dense, a fulfilling pairing of Uboa’s weighty sludge drones and Lawrence’s cathartic harsh noise collages. Also present is a great deal of environmental sound processing and industrial recordings, giving The Apple of Every Eye an uncomfortable tangibility and even an invasiveness; it really gets under your skin. For a 20-minute release it feels well-paced and complete, and the unexpected crescendo that concludes the title track and leads in to the overwhelming feedback blasts at the beginning of “Scotomized” gave me chills. It’s a short but exhausting emotional journey, intense and negative but thoroughly enjoyable, and I’m sure I’ll be listening many more times (and hopefully will remain nightmareless).