Album Review: Submeet – ‘Terminal’.

Sometimes you just want the noise, the grind of distortion and thrash. The exuberance of violence and bawling guitars, and the squeal and the warped heat of anger.

Submeet’s first full length album pits the best of The Men (2011’s ‘Leave Home’ being their finest) against the abrasion of first album Horrors. Add the reverb soaked grit of A Place To Bury Strangers to the rough wiry edges of postunk, and this art-house style showcase of atmosphere thrash lands gratuitously abstract and heavy.

The textures that force themselves out of each track move from smooth up to wrought and chaotic. Take the impressively ear-bending, structure-fucked ‘Makkahtronic’ as it slips through its shuffle of reversed drums and plucks that recall The Cure’s ‘Disintegration’. Its hypnotic focus of rhythm and heat reduce down into in echo and feedback, moments later we’re sprawling and wading in noises that come squeezed, bruised and choked from their sources.

We jerk back and forth between complex and playful, between straight LA punk and filtered, industrialised, amp-driven sounds. The short blast of ‘Boelcke’ could be Off! or Black Flag, harking back to that sweat-sodden fever. ‘Capsule Hotel’ is a vortex of colours that swells, cracks and groans through its gleefully punishing, hard pounding wails. ‘Nimby’ is a pure breed of gothic and thrash, and their cousins of goth-rock and grindcore.

Play everything loud or don’t play it at all is the mantra throughout the LP, the result is a set of teased stop/start releases that attack and pull back and assault. Only twice do we start to feel restless, like the effort and want for destruction is all that sustains the momentum and movement. If this was live you’d forgive the penultimate tracks and give praise to the stamina that keep Submeet going. But when the best onslaughts rinse us and thrill so completely, even a small drop in tension feels idle.

That is until ‘Adiodrome’ closes the album with a howling and blistering angst. Pent up aggressions and slam-laden sounds fight to fill every small ugly space. Blister-punch beaten drums steer the course of the track through its first act of hard-driven clatter, and as we move into free spinning feedback and drone, we’re relieved by the ease off of pressure.

Somewhere there’s a lineup that’s yet to be dreamt up of Rats featured noir noise and violence; Vukovar, Ist Ist, Kill Your Boyfriend, Cross Wires. Add Submeet and that lineup’s complete.  

‘Terminal‘ is out now on vinyl and streaming, with highlights as always on Rats On Run Radio.

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