Review: Potion – Cemetary (self-released, Oct 31)

This is coming a bit late since Cemetary [sic] is clearly a heavily Halloween-themed release, but this week my mind was occupied by… other things. And anyway, this amazing cover art and its tremendously well done object-font used for the band’s name are enough for this short album to be appreciated year-round. This is the closest thing Potion has come to a full-length since their debut on a split tape with Car Made of Glass early last year (both bands consist of former members of tech-sass quartet Antarctica, whose penchant for both fragmented interlude abstractions and lunatic-hardcore certainly lives on, uniquely, in each), and since Bandcamp user horsesofallston commented, “please please please release a full-length. no other humans can make these noises. (trust me I’ve tried),” but it’s not new material. In fact, all six tracks were recorded long before the project’s official declaration of existence: the first three in 2016, with Cammie Berkel on vocals and Quade Ross on drums, and the final three in 2017 with Quentin Salmon lending some piercing screams (which end up sounding sort of like Chip King’s thing, but way better and not annoying) to the first of the two “Dog Jail” tracks. Hunter Petersen is the constant member in all of these slabs of dizzying technicality, which makes the marked eclecticism of the short set even more astounding: “Trib.al/tech_support” and the ensuing two fellow shorter tracks are a nightmarish hell-scapes of tortured shrieks and relentless shred-blasts, while the title cut and “Dog Jail 2: Deja Blue” are like slightly unhinged 80s stadium-jam worship, the latter complete with harmonica. One for the ages.