Geisha - Hymns For The Living Dead

Geisha sound angry. But unlike more pedestrian purveyors of disgust and angst, such as Slipknot, Geisha sound like they mean it. This really is an ugly, beautiful noise of such proportions that certain sections of it could quite conceivably damage your speakers. Yeah, it's that good. But this is no experimental noise band, oh no, Geisha's songs have a structure common to many rock songs, but the form is something completely different.

These don't sound as though they play their instrumnets as much as kill and torture them. It's distorted to the nth degree but there's a definite sense of song construction. Opening track - 'Year of the one armed drummer' opens with a burst of noise that varies in tone that might, or might not be, some sort of guitar. From there, it opens up into the sort of harsh, noise-burst that you can only be impressed with. Impressed because there's such careful control underneath it all. 'This ruined art' follows with a sledgehammer bass line that disintegrates into the same bass line backed up by whatever instruments they are maiming. Admittedly, not everyone’s going to like this. 'how far is nowhere' is five plus minutes of almost piercing white noise. It is, however, white noise with tone and rhythm. They force you to listen.

Geisha are operating in a very special place. Attempting to bridge the gap between noise and music and succeeding. It's angry but always controlled, similarly, it's always noisy but tuneful. 'asyouwereleaving' features a riff that seems to be trying to control the noise bursts that punctuate the song. Geisha sound like the sort of tornado of a band that have conflict at the centre instead of calm. Everything seems to be smashing into everything else, like a sort of symphony of pure sweet destruction. You'd give your left foot to see them do this live.



out of 10
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