It might not be the most startling thing to assault your ears this year, or stalk a new vein of originality within the varied sphere of noise rock but Goner, the new 10” release from Milwaukee trio Volunteer is a thoroughly appetising and magnetic beast of a release. Consisting of four tracks which are heavier than, and delivered with the suffocating intensity of a landslide, the band’s new EP is a richly satisfying and enjoyable onslaught. No it does not leave you jaw-slacked in awe but offers plenty to spark a hungry attention towards its sculptors.
Formed in 2013, Volunteer consists of guitarist/vocalist Francisco Ramirez, bassist Martin Defatte, and drummer Mark Sheppard, formers members of bands such as Traitors and Gasoline Fight, Stock Options, and Forstella Ford. Within weeks the threesome had recorded their debut release, a self-titled 6-song EP via Chicago’s Underground Communique Records which drew potent interest and responses upon its release last October. Now the band has prepared the ground for a more focused spotlight with Goner, an accomplished and imposingly pleasing proposition which hits ears hard and holds attention tight.
Released in collaboration with Chicago label Forge Again Records and the band’s own Triple Eye Industries, Goner immediately assaults the senses with the weighty presence of Nein. From its first breath riffs offered by the baritone guitar of Ramirez snarl and awaken a greedy appetite whilst the bass of Defatte soon offers its own grizzled enticement. Punctured by the similarly heavy swings of drummer Sheppard and permeated by the grouchy gruff vocals of the guitarist, the song consumes ears with a voracious and blistering energy. Grooves are submerged in the background more than the track’s vibrant foreground, but still make a potent lure in the overall tar thick persuasion of the song. As mentioned of the whole EP, the song does not leap out or set new templates for heavy rock but certainly provides an inescapable contagion.
The same can be said of its successor Free-er Bird, a track which emerges from a sonic call to uncage a lumbering senses smothering gait which crawls venomously over the senses. Rhythms cast a slightly more urgent bait within the sonic consumption whilst the deep throaty tone of Ramirez guitar again seduces an already in place hunger, as bred by the likes of Karn8 and Morass of Molasses, for such propositions. Though there is another infectious edge and enticement to the track it is a solid and formidable wall of noisy enterprise lacking the spark of its predecessor and definitely the remaining pair of songs on Goner.
The first of the final two songs is the release’s title track, an instantly gripping and far more adventurous sonic incitement from the band. Grooves and riffs swiftly lay a web of unpredictable and tenacious enterprise, punctuated by the constantly dramatic and hostile bait of rhythms. The song swings with an antagonistic and compelling creative ferocity, scarring and flirting with ears at every turn and through each twist of ideation. You still would not announce its proposal as anything majorly new but it is impossible not to grant its declaration of being virulently addictive and severely enjoyable, whilst setting a lofty peak for the EP.
Goner is brought to a close by I Love You So Much It’s Killing Us Both, an impressive cover of the Jawbreaker track. Lurching with a rhythmic predation and a similarly inflamed ravaging of caustic riffs, the track infests the imagination and emotions through scuzzed up effect loaded vocals, venom dripping grooves, and an irresistible baiting from the bass. It is a toxic treat which brings a fine release to intensely pleasing end.
Goner is a healthy consumption of noise and skilled resourcefulness which fans of band such as Melvins, Unsane, and Jesus Lizard will lick their lips over. It might not be a template maker or soaked in overwhelming originality but it provides a deeply enjoyable and flavoursome encounter to get greedy over and another potential fuelled powerful step in the emergence of Volunteer.
Goner is available via Forge Again Records/Triple Eye Industries digitally and on Ltd 10” vinyl (100 on black and 200 on translucent red vinyl with black swirls) now @ http://wearevolunteer.bandcamp.com/
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