Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Cassette Review: Sarin "Just Beat the Devil Out of It" (5cm Recordings)
[$5 // Edition of 50 // https://5cmrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/just-beat-the-devil-out-of-it]
A title such as "Just Beat the Devil Out of It" can raise some interesting questions about the music to follow. Could it be about religion? Could it be a nod to The White Stripes' "Get Behind Me Satan"? But I think the answer in the title doesn't have anything to do with either of those ideas but rather comes in the form of the percussion. There is such a strong amount of heavy drumming on this cassette by Sarin that I am lead to believe that is how you beat the devil out-- with drum sticks.
Sarin crafts an instrumental style of rock the likes of which I've not heard before. In some ways, you could consider it to be math rock perhaps, but I also like to think of it as being a little bit offbeat in some sense. It's just... It's not normal, as it seems to stray away from traditional but doesn't find itself making too much of a mess. Maybe it just uses non-traditional time frames or something else I'm not sure about because I used to be able to read sheet music and now I don't know whether or not I still can.
Through sharp feedback it can take us into those locomotive chugga-chugga feels, but then it can just as easily resemble drone in the sense that one note will seem to carry on. It also can become rather eerie as it builds to a more powerful guitar frame and somehow can take on this slightly surf vibe which is a strange place to go from being eerie before but a decent reminder that there aren't enough movies made anymore about surfing ("Surf Nazis Must Die", that time the 3 Ninjas went surfing, etc.)
On the flip side of this there is a more distinct sound that almost takes on an industrial feel. From grinding to synth, this has definite Nine Inch Nails undertones to it. Cymbals begin crashing and by the end of it all you can just feel the chaos, like this is the moment it has all been building to and now everything is going down. I've always been a firm believer that regardless of how an album might start, it should finish strong. Don't end your album with a song that could just easily been in the five spot- you get me? So I definitely enjoy that Sarin has such a definite conclusion here.
The thing with Sarin is that I could take you back all the way to when I first heard instrumental music and enjoyed it to the extent that it was The Cancer Conspiracy. But then I could also start naming names like Fiesel, who I heard in the early '00's and were really in a lot of ways my introduction to math rock. Listening to this cassette though just goes to show you how far instrumental music has come because this diversity just within one cassette is enough to make you fall in love with the sounds even if you've never heard instrumental music before.