Monday, July 09, 2007

Prurient – Pleasure Ground

Those of a certain age may recall their first exposure to extreme music came in the form of groups like Skinny Puppy. We were confident we’d unlocked doom in cassette form until oddly shorn and black turtlenecked characters thrust earlier works by Test Dept., Nurse With Wound and others into our hands. Prurient’s Dominick Fernow makes music that resembles an aluminum suitcase jammed with those same tapes that have spent the last twenty years in a deep lake before being pulled to the surface by magnets. The four tracks on Pleasure Ground were initially (and all too appropriately) released as a double cassette on Hospital Productions. With the exception of “outdoorsman/indestructible,” which features a sickly off-kilter but mostly subdued keyboard pattern, the album is a gray-zone distorted eruption of bile and dank atmosphere. Fernow growls and shouts from beneath a collapsing wall of keyboards that sound near extinction. Like those forebears mentioned above, the anger within the music seem less a call to action than a cry of frustration. What makes the tension real is how acceptable and ultimately calming it becomes.


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