Well it’s the first post of 2021 so let’s fucking have it from the off this year. This is the sort of noise that will sear away the shit of the previous year, leaving you fully exfoliated for a fresh layer of the stuff. In short this is an absolute monster of an album which sits somewhere in the dark and dismal badlands of our mind.

But, actually, that’s not the whole story because, if it was, this would be just another dark and dismal noise album. That it isn’t is down to the pace and nuance on display here. Principal amongst this is the sax, which elevates the whole album to a level where you start to think of higher things. That’s not to say that I want to set free jazz against noise in some sort of cultural pissing match… but there is something deeper here that makes this worthy of your time.

So on one hand this could be seen as a massive nuclear-size freak out, but I think it’s the things that are going on around the drudge that are perhaps the most interesting. So while the sax is definitely a contributing factor here, so is the vocal which at first listen sounds like some sort of generic growl, but a closer analysis reveals changes of tone… even genre… that gives the many tracks (16 in 28 minutes) much more breath than you initially imagine. This is combined with a change of pace throughout the album which means that you never really know what is coming round the corner. Nowhere is this more evident than on ‘Wolf 2′, which starts like a fragmented post-apocalyptic version of the Pistols ‘Bodies’ and quickly morphs into the most vibrant of thrash metal before disintegrating completely into a morass of sax, yells and dirty electronics… marvellous.

This is followed up with the almost unfeasibly long ‘Natural Born Testicle’. Indeed it’s probably true to say that the only thing this has in common with pop sensibilities is its length, coming in at just over three minutes. This is the PiL to ‘Wolf 2’s’ Pistols, with its deconstruction of genre that is bordering on the avant garde.

And that kind of is the point for me, because like PiL took me into new territory, so does this. I reminds me of when I found Extreme Noise Terror and the Electro Hippies at the end of a Peel Session compilation, it some how refreshed something for me, and made me think about the boundaries of what is musically acceptable for me… like the Sex Swing album ‘Type II’ did last year too.

So while this is relentless like a noise album should be, and for me all the best ones are, it is one that you can listen to back to back because there is plenty here to get stuck into time and again. It’s certainly not an easy listen; it is an intense, intelligent and challenging set which can blown more than the cobwebs away on a dark day.

’Blood and Stomach Pills’ is available on cassette and download from Cruel Nature Records here.

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