Review: Mellified Man – Sex/Withdrawal (self-released, Mar 16)

a2371327057_10Those of you who follow me on Instagram—I suspect I may have an even larger audience there than I do here—may have seen my story post earlier today about a severe drought of recent material to review. When I go longer than a day without a review it is almost always because I literally cannot find anything I like enough to write about, and believe me, I really try. For the past 36 hours or so neither my inbox nor Bandcamp has yielded any fruit, a frustrating predicament indeed. Thankfully my lovely followers came to the rescue, and one of them introduced me to Worcester, MA project Mellified Man (J. Spotts). As soon as the first shredding slice of feedback rent my ears I sighed with relief; Sex/Withdrawal was exactly what I needed after so much disappointment. It’s bittersweet, though, because volatile high-energy releases like this one tend to remind me how long it’s been since I’ve witnessed live noise. I can almost imagine the unmatched sensation that’s somewhere between physical pain and cathartic bliss as Spotts smashes stretches of piercing, wince-inducing shrieks into grinding chaos or unseats a merciless blast with limp tendrils of analogue decay. “Blood Loss” is an especially relevant track because of the radio grab that begins it (which may also be the original source for all the noise); with violent anti-Asian sentiments on the rise, much of the wanton and misinformed criticism of China’s handling of the coronavirus has been steadily exposed for what it always was: racist propaganda. And Spotts does exactly what the rest of us should do when they obscure and eviscerate the careless rhetoric with cacophonous distortion. Whether it’s from one person’s pedal chains and contact-mic’d scrap metal or from millions of souls and voices coming together as one, bigotry should always be met with the noise (preferably of the harsh variety) of resistance. People are dying, and you owe it to yourself and everyone else to be fucking loud—especially if you’re on top of anywhere near as massive of a steaming shit-pile of privilege as I am. Noise not music: action not complacency.

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