Kids, it’s not your fault that this is happening. All this chaos, the violent squalling: don’t take it personally. This noise is just what happens sometimes. The union of individuals doesn’t always wind up in twee wonderland, where everyone loves each other and is beautiful. Sometimes we wind up with Divorce, and usually it’s for the better.
The self-titled debut from the Glasgow four-piece smiles wide-eyed like a fire-breathing, chainsaw juggling maniac, occasionally gesturing toward a house burning down in the distance. Easing into the insanity through a jagged feedback collage crassly titled “Cunts in a Circle”, the disc proceeds to dive into the mud, slithering through sludge-metal dirges, no wave caterwauling, and noise rock monstrosities. Rather than a disc “not for the faint of heart,” this might be a disc “not for those of any heart at all.”
But tracks like the throat-shredding “Bill Murray” and the bombastic “Snob Value” unlock the lunatic that hides behind even the clearest eyes, layers of cavernous riffage and Jennie Fulk’s shredded vocal chords fueling the rage. While Fulk’s iconoclastic howling might be the most obvious sign of insanity (and a true revelation throughout), the instrumental machine-step of “Pencils Giant Pencils” and the James Chance-ian sax solo on “Stabby (Stabby) Stab” prove that the paranoid tremors run deep into the grooves of the album.
Digging into the 40-odd minutes of Divorce feels like gobbling down a box of sugar-coated razor blade cereal. Each bite provides an equal dose of infectious rhythm and metallic shred, and before long you’re grinning, blood dripping down your chin, too busy smashing every cabinet in sight to remember that you might actually have a decoder ring somewhere in the carnage. Divorce may be ugly and abrasive, but sometimes an experience this powerfully cathartic does more good than harm.
Essential Tracks: “Snob Value”, “Bill Murray”, and “Stabby (Stabby) Stab”