Slug Guts – Howlin' Gang
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Making their intentions clear with the bleak opener “Howlin,” Slug Guts take an intentionally crude and nihilistic approach to Howlin’ Gang. Like their Australian heroes the Birthday Party, they concentrate on the dark, fractured end of post-punk, riddling the 13 songs with tom-heavy, oil-can percussion, jagged guitar chords, meaty basslines, and snarling baritone vocals. Because the album was recorded with little overdubbing, in only a week, empty space plays a big part to give the feel of a band playing live in an open warehouse. The slow and sleazy pseudo-ballads “Down in the Mornin’ Sun” and “Angie” (not the Rolling Stones tune) fill the void, with guest vocalists Angela Bermuda of Circle Pit and Sarah Spencer of Blank Realm. Otherwise, it’s sleazy, cacophonous bashing for the majority of the generally disturbing, and immensely satisfying, remainder.