As instantly impacting as a right hook to the jaw, Skool’s In from Norwegian band Deathcrush easily shows what the buzz covering the band right now is all about and proves it is more than justified. A seamless collage of sounds and invention brought with a primal growl and uncompromising hunger, the 12” debut from the Oslo trio is a scintillating and passion gripping tour-de-force, and one you only feel is scratching the surface of the band’s depths and future.
Released on the back of their limited flexi disc release within a double poster magazine, Skool’s In is a four track vinyl temptress which is devilishly seductive and mercilessly addictive, and again that is only the tip of the sonically and rhythmically carnivorous bewitchment. Since forming the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Linn Nystadnes, bassist/vocalist Åse Røyset, and vocalist/drummer Vidar Evensen has garnered potent acclaim and fanbase through their live performances across Norway, Europe and beyond with their thick and magnetic noise rock originality. Recording a bundle of songs with Billy Anderson (Swans, Melvins, Mr. Bungle) and Jørgen Træen (Datarock, Annie, Sondre Lerche), the band is with Skool’s In starting off a much anticipated series of singles, the first a mighty scintillating beginning it is.
Opening track Lesson #3 for Gina Kikoine / You Now takes no time to unleash a bass snarl which preys on the ear whilst the drums stalk with their own teasing design. Across it the vocals of Nystadnes and Åse Røyset either alone or together enchant with charm and menace whilst the guitar splits and sculpts the air with flesh singing sonic narrative. It is a powerful insidiously sirenesque persuasion which brews an intensity and smothering embrace which defies escape and breeds addiction whilst the electronic teases and taunts only excite the senses further into greater lustful submission. Like a mix of Melt Banana, Spinnerette, and 4 Non Blondes, but not, the track is a blistering almost disorientating sabre swipe of noise rock with acidic pop infectiousness and an exceptional start to the EP.
The immediate pinnacle is soon followed and matched by Lesson #4 for Wharton Tiers / Strauss, a track which explores even darker intensive shadows and the sonic creative destructive depths of the band and their craft. The first soundscape of the song is an apocalyptic like burning corrosive flight which takes a breather for the vocal almost childlike kisses to sooth and strap the passions in before making another fall through a synapse scraping imagination poking tempest. Nor as easily accessible as its predecessor but completely equal in impacting strength, aggressive persuasion, and unbridled excellence, the song leaves no doubt to the extensive intent and expanse of the band’s sound and ideas. It helps pile on the rabid anticipation for future singles and releases, something which is just as easily fed by the next up track.
Lesson #13 for Nanker Phelge / Fire was the song which featured on the flexi-disc and within such immense company stands as potent and unique as before whilst increasing further the band’s reputation and stature. A track which from the start stalks and prowls the senses providing ammunition for heart and mind whilst feeding the senses and emotions with a slow romp of ridiculously contagious sound and imagination, the track just traps and enslaves with its ear bracing synapse eroding guitar and bass crawl within a rhythmic herding of the passions. There is a post punk charm and punk voracity to the song which reminds a little of the Au Pairs and The Raincoats whilst the noise slicing of the atmosphere is Pixies/ Valentiine like, yet again these are slight references to something unique to Deathcrush.
The outstanding release is completed by the Fire remix of the third song by James Njie. It is a pop /dancefloor igniting electro stomp with a breath of J-Pop to its mesmeric and irresistible dance. Still managing to retain an element of the carnivorous side of Deathcrush the track is a crystalline treat which makes us almost reassess our thoughts on the point of remixes.
Released via Norway Rat Records, Skool’s In is just magnificent, a raptor of brilliance within a noise and mental examination, and the undeniable debut of a band which is going to coax and command our attentions and passions for horizons to come.
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