Lockweld, Eutectic (Ground Fault Series II, 1999)
[originally posted 21Mar2000]
I always assumed that when one of my favorite bands got together with one of my favorite labels, the result would be a skull-crushing Series III recording that would take my ears off and strap them on the wrong way. So I get the disc, open the plastic, and… series II? Have Lockweld gone… soft?
Rest assured, Erik missed the call on this one. Lockweld have not gotten any quieter. More ominous and less overt, perhaps, but it’s all still there and ready to pound you into submission.
This album is a study in contrast. Rhythmic pieces sit beside beatless rumbling morasses of noise, Steve and Karen trade off vocals (as well as a new vocal style making its way in—the heavily-filtered high-pitched growl a la Taint), that sort of thing. Keeps it interesting for a seventeen-song over-an-hour disc. Fun things abound here, including “4140 HR. Steel,” a wicked little piece that starts with layered samples of banging metal and fades into a music-box-like ending; a two-part meditation on Columbine (“After School .38 Special” and the twisted “Recess Hymn”); send-ups of the Beatles (“Abbeyville Rd.”); and, most enjoyably, a surprise ending (especially if you were at the show where it was recorded!) with “It Starts Now… It Ends Here.”
Lockweld improve with every release, and this one is an excellent way to get yerself acquainted with the present masters of Cleveland’s visual electronics scene. The fact that it’s $8 postpaid helps, too. (get it from http://www.groundfault.net) ****
“After School .38 Special”.