As 2012 turned into its successor, a thrilling senses stripping violation was unleashed by French noise spewers Haut&Court. It was their debut EP La Vie, a fury of sonic magma which had us declaring it “one of the most promising and rewarding releases in a long time” whilst cowering in the corner. Now the Strasbourg band has released its highly anticipated successor in the brawling violation that is Troffea. All the potential and qualities that marked the first Haut&Court onslaught have been realised and pushed masterfully on in their new twelve track animus. It is nasty, vicious, and physically and emotionally painful but equally with whiplash causing grooves and at times a truly ravenous swing to its body, the release is an essential beating all raw thrash, violent crust and hardcore punk, as well as rabid noise and grindcore fans should be looking at devouring.
Formed mid-2012, the threesome of vocalist Arnaud Diemer, guitarist Bernard, and drummer Ravindranth Saint Jean quickly whipped up potent attention with La Vie, its unique tempest of sound a corrosive and merciless confrontation bred on striking invention. Now a quartet with bassist/vocalist Benjamin ‘Merko’ Simon and guitarist Bernard ‘Skud’ Zurletti alongside Diemer and Saint Jean, Haut&Court has dug with new zeal deeper and explored further into their imaginative hostility to conjure a creative rage rippling with contagious enterprise and virulent invention with the invigorating sonic abrasion they are already renowned for. Troffea startles and abuses, savages and seduces as the band weaves a host of styles into their unbridled aural rancor. It is a dance for the apocalypse, a perpetual festival caked in destruction and crippling ferocity swinging alluring creative hips that invite all to partake in its revelry.
Troffea opens up its malicious charm with Sea of Shit, band and song initially immersing the listener in thin but intrusive sonic smog from within which hefty beats and swirling grooves spring their raw tempting. Quickly, as the bass of Simon spreads its hearty malevolence, the raw vocal squall of Diemer brings distinctive ire to the already infectiously imposing bellow of sound and spite. It is a minute and a half which ravages and incites the body, a thrilling infection of sound and emotion putting the imagination and appetite in the mood for contagious war.
The following Putin continues in similar vicious vein, its individual tsunami of intensity loaded with catchy bait. A hardcore wind roars through sound and vocals to buffet the listener but its impact is perfectly tempered by the fiery grooves and rhythmic enticing which equally takes no prisoners. Of course this is not going to be for everyone, the whimpering behind as these words are cast evidence, but if the flavours mentioned above hit the spot, lustful greed is the swift and sure reaction, and only gaining pace and ardour as Caligari emerges from an earthy bass lit shadow to spin a demonic and intoxicating web of sonic bedlam pierced by technical prowess, searing grooves, and brain damaging beats. The song is an infestation, every aspect despoiling the senses, seeping under the skin, and laying a scourge on the psyche for pure pleasure.
Meursault provides no let up straight after, even as guitars cast a venomous melodic trail within the excruciating storm, the track is bestial as its charges through and crawls over the listener with open antipathy for all. It also confirms the great unpredictability and often understated but constant imagination and creative ingenuity frequenting each track. With a Coilguns like cacophony ripe with twisted slithers of grooving and acidic sonic tang, 1518 straight it is determined revelry in the face of punishing adversity; its bedlamic drive almost dervish like in energy and intent whilst Ostinator is molten extreme metal bent and brutally coaxed into another unique and grievous Haut&Court punk assault; both tracks offering their own impossible to predict and easy to enjoy trespasses.
To be honest every track within Troffea carries those rewarding qualities, no moment ever less than open exploration or offering respite in breath-taking adventure, the outstanding Chosta alone, debilitating grindcore whipped proof scintillatingly backed by the seriously bruising and tenaciously busy Hienes. One of the longest tracks on the album at three and a half scorching minutes, it is a jungle of barbarous rhythms and predatory bass animosity with vocals to match, a torrential sandstorm of toxic guitar enterprise equally helping it ignite the passions with ease.
The salacious prowl of the doom soaked Swing comes next unleashing another raw avenue and depth to the Haut&Court songwriting to bring more unique diversity to the album, its ruinous presence as much cerebral as physical. Though the track admittedly does not quite spark the same richness of ardour as elsewhere, it gives potent food for thought as to where the band may go next, though time to think comes later as swiftly the exceptional Feed the Fat with its funky savagery ignites the lust before Goetz spills its harshest grudge led by undulating hostility on the listener, more than likely leaving them in the fetal position.
Completed by the gang brawl of JMLP, a warring anthem to shade most others, Troffea is simply superb. All the great things of La Vie have been intensified and twisted into new tempting, then aligned to a broader and richer but no less blisteringly vehement proposition. Haut&Court is a band to be feared or loved. We choose the latter; time for you to decide…if you dare.
Troffe is out from October 1st on download and vinyl @ http://hautcourt.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 01/10/2015
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