Monday, February 25, 2013

Iron Lung - White Glove Test

"music" cover
Power violence's most forward thinking act are back with their ambitious new album entitled White Glove Test. Further pushing the band's ammonia soaked aesthetic and affinity for jangley Ginnesque guitars in a blender, Iron Lung, create a claustrophobic and energetic album. The album has three incarnations: a "music" version, which is guitars, vocals, drums; a "noise" version which runs the same length as the music version and sounds like a backdrop for a Lynch film; and then the "together" version in which both the "noise" and the "music" versions play simultaneously; creating, for me, the best version.

When asked about the release,  Iron Lung drummer/vocalist/jefe Jensen Ward elaborated that they "set out to record an album that could be more interactive than most. The music album is the definitive version of the three. When it comes out there will be a 2xLP/2xCD version as well as the single LP version. The noise album was recorded while playing along to the finished music album so that the end result could be albums that could be played simultaneously or separately. So really the listening experience could be anything you want it to be."

"noise" cover

Exempt from gimmickry, White Glove Test plays like a stretcher let loose in the halls of an abandoned hospital; it weaves and stutters, slows down and crashes ahead heedlessly into a bleak abundance of sharp riffs, hypnotic tom patterns and urgent shouts. Tracks "Hidden Task" through "Plasma Separatist" play like an interlude as they rely on negative space complimented with chore laden drums and shouted sections that could serve as real crowd pleasers. Included inbetween these tracks are "Brutal Supremecy"  pts 1-3, which originally appeared on the compilation of the same name (although spelled correctly and featuring Hatred Surge, Mind Eraser, and Scapegoat) which anchor the thematic ties between these 5 tracks. I was a disappointed to see three tracks that had already been released for an exclusive comp, but putting them in the midst of the album and sandwiching them between "Hidden Task" and "Plasma Separatist" makes them fit perfectly in the album's flow and sound.

The addition of the "noise" track to "music" track does well to fill the gaps of space Ward and Kortland create. Moments of slight silence are fractured with noises reminiscent of Eraserhead or ones appropriate for Session 9. It adds to the uncomfortable pulse of the album, the irregular heartbeat that Ward's always done so well punctuated with quick stabs of distortion from Kortland.

"together" cover
While the collected works of Cold Storage will always be my favorite, White Glove Test is shaping up to be the best album the band's put out. I've listened to all versions so many times and still find new things throughout each listen. The album balances itself so well between being dense and accessible, a trait Iron Lung's carried with quite the swagger throughout their lifespan.

Available on the band's current tour and March 1st, be sure to snag the 2xLP/2xCD version.


DesiccatedVeins said...

I'm so fucking excited for this album, as well as their tour. While I've always loved them, I've been realizing more and more lately that they might be one of my favorite bands.

Perpetual Strife said...

Yeah, really excited to hold this one and catch them live.

There's something about them, especially stuff on Cold Storage that just gets me going unlike so many other bands. Ward and Kortland have such a bond, almost like a jazz group, not too many metal/punk bands have such a personality when playing.

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