CD Review: Black Dice

Repo (Paw Tracks)

Noise-rock bands aren't supposed to last as long as Brooklyn's Black Dice. The band has floated from indie label to indie label during its 10 years, including a brief WTF-inducing major-label foray with 2005's Broken Ear Record.  Throughout their existence, they've always been a bit of an acquired taste mostly appealing to people who like to expose their eardrums to new planes of existence whenever possible. They're still a tough band to digest on Repo, their seventh full-length. The album cover is a collage that appears to be composed of a photo of a stodgy '60s garage-rock act covered with psychedelic paint from grade-school art class.  It's accompanied by the phrase, "Go where new experiences await you." 

While the cover doesn't really betray the gritty feel of this album, it's still a pretty fitting image for a band that's never followed convention. "La Cucaracha" sounds a little like Dante Alighieri's journey through hell, complete with demented grooves atop wailing voices and gnashing synthetic teeth. Among the din of samples and sounds melded together with ultra-precision, there's still plenty of rock-solid percussive beats propelling these tunes. "Ultra Vomit Craze" contains a lengthy funk beat ripped straight from the still-beating heart of the '70s. There are a few scattered noise blasts and sound collages "Ten Inches," "Whirligig," "Buddy," "Urban Supermist" or even the album's closer "Gag Shack." But those moments serve more as transitions than as the album's focal points.  Jeremy Willets

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