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The return of long running Man Is The Bastard offshoot Bastard Noise, who now have a body of work that dwarfs their previous group's comparatively tiny catalog, but who took a long time to win us over. Not sure if it was the disappointment of no more MITB or that suddenly Bastard Noise seemed to release a million records, or that our heart belonged to Amps For Christ. Whatever the reason, it took a few years, but we learned to love BN, even more so lately as they've seemed to have become a real band, a real HEAVY band. Gone are the days of harsh noisescapes and power electronics, the band are now a serious sonic forces to be reckoned with, in BAND form, and on their latest, they continue on the path set forth on A Culture Of Monsters, melding tripped out psychedelic ambience, to lurching lumbering doom, the rhythm section as tight as MITB ever was, the shrieked vox seriously harrowing, a good foil for the monstrous guttural growls, and as we mentioned in our Record Of The Week review of A Culture Of Monsters, the bass tone, and the overall bass driven heaviness, had us not only thinking of the legendary Nomeansno, but also another MITB offshoot, former Record Of The Week-ers Geronimo, whose krautrock like rhythmic mesmer seems to have found its way into BN's new sound. The opening title track might be the most epic thing BN has ever recorded, a creeping ambient drone/dirge, that finds the band churning and chugging, howling and pounding over a hazy shimmery smear, their metallic crush augmented by some hushed ethereal flutter, the sound almost Native American, it's a strange combo, but it works, weirdly, the track easing up partway through its 13+ minutes, the band unfurling a kosmische sci-fi shimmerscape, before lurching and lumbering back into action, and pounding out the last couple minutes. Much of Skulldozer actually seems to have the band channeling their former group, with short bursts of jagged punkish power violence, but then the band slip right into their other incarnation, the other side of the band we love, their abstract psychedelic space drift ambience, last heard in full bloom on their awesome Rogue Astronaut record, and so goes the rest of Skulldozer, lurching from churning powerviolence crush, to glitched out abstract sci-fi drift, to experimental ambience, to blackened metallic pound and back again. Totally ruling, and most definitely a new favorite!

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