Short, Sharp Shock
These days there are enough varietals of hard rock and metal that it’s difficult to conceive of one more, but Racebannon has succeeded in creating something new, a kind of conceptual-post-hardcore-fusion. Think Melvins meet Captain Beefheart meet The Accused meet Nirvana. Songs are heavy and fast, and the main instrument is Mark Anderson’s distinctive brand of screaming. Their latest release, Six Sik Sisters, is more straightforward than their prior work but should not be ignored by fans or newcomers.
Sisters pulls you in immediately with a kick/hi-hat combination that sounds so raw and thick it could be coming from the next room, but it’s ambiguous. You spend the first 13 seconds of “Thee Plea” in anticipation of how the music will come in, and when it does it’s exhilarating. The nifty drum sound is repeated again in “Thee Solo,” which leads in to the catchy and driving “Thee Challenge.” The songs aren’t all about speed, though there is plenty. They are enhanced by simple and powerful power-chord riffs, such as the slow and heavy middle of “Thee Brother.”
Racebannon’s instrumental moments are more focused on Six Sik Sisters, largely abandoning the experimental free-jazz bass-drum groove seen in earlier releases. That feels more like a conscious direction instead of sanitation, and as a result the album comes across as a single, compact (25-minute) piece of hardcore art in the same vein as Fucked Up’s David Comes to Life.