Review: Industrial Hazard – Submechanophobia (Clinquant Pudendum, Aug 5)

Stylistically located somewhere quite near another fantastic release I wrote about this year, Springboard’s Midwest Radiator Sessions, this new tape from the fledgling Industrial Hazard project from Full of Hell member Spencer Hazard offers an array of abrasive but strangely welcoming texture collages, mining everything from rainfall rattling a metal duct to hulking, clanging machines for its ample stockpile of source material. The commonality across all the sounds used on Submechanophobia, however, is that each is a different type of “metal or machinery being submerged or exposed to water in various ways,” a crucial piece of the release’s central focus on “the fear or anxiety caused by man-made objects being submerged under water” (hence the title). Hazard’s creations have both the massive, threatening size of gigantic oil rigs belching flames into the dark ocean sky or the rusted carcasses of wrecked cargo ships half-buried in a seabed and the apathetic yet intoxicating peace of open water; concluding cut “38.7924° N, 75.1586° W” illustrates this duality well, at once capturing the awed terror of witnessing something huge slowly sink below the surface and the oddly comforting security that the scale of such an event often instills, the panicked scramble to plug gushing holes in the hull and the morbid serenity of giving yourself over to the dark depths. I’m pushing five listens of Submechanophobia now and I’m still not sure whether I should feel anxious or soothed by this music, but I think I’ll end up settling on the latter, because it’s nowhere near as terrifying as the actual ocean and the things it hides.