Split releases are always intriguing, often revealing new bands and sounds or bringing a mutual union of bands with a connection in some way or another. The new spilt EP from Coilguns and Kunz is no exception with the common denominator being members of the German experimental metal band The Ocean. Musically though the release comes from different extremes though there is still a common need and urge from both bands to stretch and re-invent not only sounds but the senses of the listener too. Direct and punishing the EP provokes with its intrusive drive and inventiveness, and is as eagerly challenging as it is sonically consuming. The release tests boundaries and the ear with an effect as varied as its ideas and sounds.
The first three tracks come from Coilguns, a trio made up of Louis Jucker, Luc Hess, and Jona Nido (all members of The Ocean). Stunning and mouth watering they mark the release as something special all on their own. Combining punk, grind, D-beat and any other aggressive, intense and striking sound you can imagine, the tracks ripple with quality and the band inspires as deeply as it abuses and rips open the senses. Starting with ‘Mastoid’, the band whips up a frenzy of noise controlled with the keenest of skill and the sharpest variations of invention. From the first note of the song the band hold the head tight as it shoves searing riffs and sonically scarring guitar sounds down its ear, reinforced by harsh bitter vocals and a punishing rhythm that makes a wind tunnel feel like a summer breeze.
Second of their three is ‘Phersu’, a track that continues the onslaught with equal effect with a pulsating dark bassline and highly skilled musicianship. As it progresses it evolves into a filth coated groove that splices sludge with math metal to create a unique twisted sickness. Though not as infectious in accessibility as maybe the opener it contaminates with equally satisfying effect. ‘Kachinas’ completes Coilgun’s triplet of chaos returning to the manic urgency and addict making riffs and grooves from ‘Mastoid’. The band is jaw dropping intensity and creativity packed into a wave of sound that devours and consumes; wonderful stuff.
Kunz is made up of just Luc Hess & Louis Jucker alone, and a totally different proposition. At first their sound especially after Coilguns appears to just be a wall of noise without structure or direction. Repeat listening and closer inspection unveils a mutated beast fusing a dirty heavy grunge flavour with trampling rhythms, distorted discordance, and the urge to rip a wide one in the senses of its listeners. Admittedly it takes some effort to delve deep enough to find the blissful traits deep within the sonic violation but it is there and worth the effort, it is just that alongside Coilguns it starts off with a disadvantage when placed against their terrific sounds.
The four songs that come our way from the duo all slice deeply and viciously, scrambling the senses with their scattered chords and infected riffs. By the time the band have spread through their opening three tunes of ‘Flow’, ‘Aprea’ and ‘Flush’, one realises they are mesmerised by the incessant drone and scarcely recognisable scathing melodies. Final track ‘What Makes Me Sleep’ is a punk crusted brief explosion of energy and the band’s best track on the EP.
Both bands give music as experimental as it is caustic and it is not really a surprise considering the musicians involved. The bands are very different but similar too and their split EP is a treat that should be enjoyed often. Coilguns will simply wake up and bring aural radiance to the senses whilst Kunz given more time and work will inflame and excite, maybe not to the same depths as their partner in crime but with more than enough satisfaction.