Review: Fuct as Punk – Suffering to Sovereignty (self-released, May 18)

a0109896576_10It seems intuitive that the more one writes about, assesses, or analyzes some sort of esoteric object that innately tends to defy description, the more language itself will start to fail, its limitations exposing the gaps in linguistic representation between two things that are clearly different yet don’t appear to be “on paper.” But it turns out it’s the opposite; one doesn’t just discover new words and syntactical structures that provide more outlets for accurate conveyance, but also previously concealed nuances and implicit currents that lurk and work well below the sentence level, which can often only be deployed instinctively via a deep, holistic personal appreciation for the topic at hand. I refer, of course, to wall noise, a genre with which I’ve come a long way in terms of satisfying review coverage—hell, these days it’s frequently the only thing I can seem to bring myself to write about, or even find new material in the first place. Several years ago I certainly would not have had the capacity to communicate what precisely I enjoy about Suffering to Sovereignty, the first full-length digital release from Massachusetts duo Fuct as Punk; it is, ostensibly, “typical” near-stagnant harsh noise fare, for the most part just crunchy analogue pedal distortion doing its thing. But what really prevent these two tracks from being at all forgettable are their consistent anchor points, spots of palpably physical interaction by the musicians that affect the noise somehow: briefly halt it, strip it down to an isolated frequency, force it in a new direction. The approach is such that the thick electronic squall is not dynamic, exactly, but not static either, rather a brutal, deadlocked battle of incremental assaults between an unyielding pile of screaming junk and its makers (who, appropriately, are never quite satisfied with what that screaming sounds like). Grounded by these tangible exchanges of blows, Fuct as Punk’s walls climb to the sooty heavens in an escalating feedback loop of violence, culminating in spectacular messes such as the hyperactive delay pedal glitching in the title track. Both exhilarating and exhausting, Suffering to Sovereignty is not the most conceptually compelling wall noise release we’ve seen this year, but there’s always a place for crude sonic annihilation, especially the sort that gives rise to things within ourselves that we’d rather stay buried.

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