Coilguns – Millenials

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label URL: https://www.facebook.com/hummusrecordsofficial/
Released: 2018
Buy Album [URL]: https://coilguns.bandcamp.com/album/millennials
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/coilguns/

Band line-up:

Louis Jucker – Vocals, noises, guitar
Luc Hess – Drums
Donatien Thiévent – Synths, backing vocals
Jona Nido – Guitar

Tracklisting:

1. Anchorite
2. Deletionism
3. Millennials
4. Spectrogram
5. Music Circus Clown Care
6. Ménière’s
7. Wind Machines For Company
8. Self Employment Scheme
9. Blackboxing
10. The Screening

Review:

On March 23rd of this year, Coilguns released ‘Millennials’ through Hummus Records. That self-engineered album which was written and recorded in January 2016 is almost constantly violent and aggressive. All of it was recorded live and uncut. The band commented ‘we have this manic habit of using crazy sounding Wikipedia articles as track names, just to blur our traces and look smart I guess. It always creates a funny gap in between the song’s lyrical content and its final title’.

The band clearly have a sense of humour, which is strange as their music has a lot of black metal traits. The way the far from clean, menacing guitar notes bleed together is very devilish and so is the primitive, bleak production. Who’s ever heard of people who dress up in corpse paint and who have even laughed once? Because that’s how the band members could be imagined. Whilst part of their musical concept can be thought of as a bit weird, it doesn’t SOUND weird. The shouted ‘singing’ does sometimes have a slight comical vibe to it intentional or not, but most of the time it is a lot more angry and frustrated than you may expect. However, it’s not really evil and BM, nor is it what most will call ‘typically proggish’. Furthermore, their are no harmonic, melodic or rhythmic elements in the LP that come across as silly.

The way everything was recorded in a totally unedited fashion is impressive, as it doesn’t show. Frequent time changes in the music demonstrate the musician’s skill, along with complex song structures. Everything sounds like a pain to memorise and perform, though bum notes and various other mistakes are either extremely hard to find, or are even non-existent. Even if there were obvious cockups, they would only add to the raw and natural atmosphere. It’s so raw in fact, that what would usually be unwanted buzzing noises from amplifiers are instead embraced and made part of the overall package.

Whilst the inventive and doomy moods pull the listener in for a while, it isn’t long before it’s realised that most of them sound rather similar to each other. As there are never any vocal melodies just screams, that only adds to the eventual tonal monotony. The various textures of the LP utilised by all instruments help improve the experience, but more of something is needed. Fast tempos may have been employed to keep the album exciting, but some of the stronger ideas are in the less manic sections. The song ‘Millennials’ has a great part in it, where the music slows and the beat becomes highly unpredictable. It’s unsettling and eerie nature is never really matched. The way it develops in the following accelerated segment is again, very well done, though.

In conclusion, this stuff is very different to what most people would describe as ‘prog’, and therefore would make an unusual start in someone’s planned progressive rock/metal collection. Again, it’s more black metal than anything, and the shouted vocals will probably alienate many. Having said that, adventurous harmony and rhythms are common, but the similarities to the style they claim to write kind of stop there. The music is worth a listen, just think before parting with your money.

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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