22-minutes of entropy
In Bye Bye Tsunami’s world, key is a myth. Tuning is a myth. Time signatures are a myth. This isn’t music— this is immolation. Entropy. In the words of Henry Miller, “a bomb up the asshole of creation.”
Jagged textures, angular structures and downright ungodly sounds abound on the Copenhagen-based band’s self-titled debut EP, a feral blend of metal, punk, industrial and jazz. With a music video that’ll make you exclaim “how the fuck can they get away with that?!” (seriously), opening track “Pornceptual” makes it clear from the jump that you’re in the presence of true outsiders, hell-bent on taking your preconceived notions of “good taste” and chopping them to bits. Then pissing on the remains.
Electronics bubble and churn like bile. The drums assault your senses while still remaining tight and careful— not a sloppy sucker punch to the head, but an intricately crafted blitzkrieg. Toward the end of the track, a vocalist steps in to mumble incoherently. It’s jarring stuff. But not unprecedented. The electronic noise of the first two tracks especially starts to sound less alien after multiple listens. It’s the same sludge and din you’d expect from the Butthole Surfers or the Melvins— the only difference is that it’s not generated by guitars.
That’s not to say Bye Bye Tsunami is an easy band to pigeonhole. Far from it. Vocalist Praytell makes this abundantly clear on the title track. His quacky, schizoid yelp recalls Pere Ubu’s David Thomas and other Beefheartian post-punks— meanwhile, his sputtering cadence suggests a hyperactive, illin’ white boy like Mike Patton or even Fred Durst. But just before you think you’ve got him pinned— whoop! — there he goes again, barking like a tatted hardcore vocalist whose muscles are about to tear through his skin. The lyrics are full of (tongue-in-cheek?) tough guy-isms— “Like a dog without a leash/You will be my bitch.”
“Holdin’ Banana Spiders Through The Folds Of Time/Space” finds the band at their most unhinged. This track doesn’t just signify violence— it is violence. Featured prominently on this cut is the flaubosax, an instrument invented by band member Lorenzo Colocci. The flaubosax is a sort of Frankenstein’s monster, unwittingly thrown into the world only to be tormented and abused. The instrument is beaten into total submission, humiliated, forced to squeal like a pig or a dying woman. That’s not an exaggeration— this thing literally screams. Refracted through distortion and other effects, it sounds even more nightmarish, convulsing, twitching, yammering like a baboon. Spit flying everywhere. Incontinence. Drummer Søren Høi sounds just as deranged, firing off machine-gun fills with perverse delight.
Chaos is difficult to sustain over the course of an entire album, so Bye Bye Tsunami do themselves a favor by keeping this project short. The sheer momentum and power of each track also keeps it from wearing down— for all its technical wizardry and musical chops, at the end of the day, this is simply the kind of record that makes you wanna break stuff.
A mere one month into the new year, Bye Bye Tsunami have committed a sonic holocaust. And they did it all in just 22-minutes. This EP is required listening for anyone even remotely interested in experimental music, and really, it oughta be required listening for everyone else too. Most people won’t have the stomach for it, but hey— nobody said the future would taste sweet.