Monday, September 6, 2010
Review: Cull - “Erosion”
I will not insult this release by doing any of the following: write three sentences, two of which reduce its qualities to generic touchstones; segment my review into a track-by-track analysis; repeatedly draw attention to the sex of each musician in the band. This being said, I’d like to also mention that I am adhering to this path for one reason—the nature of Cull’s music, or at least their musical style paired with the small number of tracks on “Erosion” suggests such a treatment.
They’ve recorded three tracks here, the first being the shortest and the last, the longest. I applaud their consciousness of composition. To lure their listeners, Cull first stamps an emotional impression, gracing ears with a snapshot of melancholic acceptance, dark brown healing, brief tides of hope. They then stake a road sign, a directive for one’s expectations that maintains the melancholy, the brown, but points you toward an open field of bowed burr-heads and untrodden weeds. Now that you have exited the forest of civilization and come upon the sobering expanse of self-acceptance, -reliance, -sustainability, you must trudge onward and endure existence for the sake of future endeavors. You’ve been abandoned, but by choice. You parsed out your own rejection years ago, taking the unintentional, subtle cues of strangers, acquaintances, family. They don’t want you. You don’t belong, and neither does Cull. Now you have shaken yourself free.
Once camaraderie and attention have been safely cemented, the meat of your passage unfolds, revealing explicit wounds, the festering egg-sacs of flies, familiar mental states. I can safely say that “Erosion” does not satisfy a schizoid mind-frame, nor does it bring home the assault-rifle satisfaction of, say, your favorite powerviolence band, but it does inspire, foster, bolster, confirm the very same feelings. They are simple feelings, easily labeled, but when mingling in your mind, these feelings strike like a bag of Master locks in slow motion. I am angry; I am sad; I love; I love; I hate; I am alone. I am washed over by a bitter potpourri of emotions, seemingly contradictory yet honest and somehow bright. I receive inspiration and comfort from Cull’s music in the same way I am uplifted by Samothrace or Fall of Efrafa, their plodding flagellation, their soaring separation, the streams of long-pardoned offenses. Honest revelry, joined by those who share your solitude.
The riffs swell and squirm and puncture and batter at once. The drums roll, tumble, thunder. I am brought to my knees, bones warped by the voice, flesh mangled, but I must stare at the sun. Let Cull beat you down, because once you collapse with your eyes blotted out and your voice twisted, you’ll come to realize that the sludge, the sod is your true home.