Brian Chippendale is at it again. Well, not again, because that would possibly imply that he stopped for a second. Either way, his latest release “Pus Mortem” is another solid 8 tracks of overdriven and explosive drums, synth and warped to beyond the point of intelligibility vocals.
At this point I just assume that most people are pretty familiar with Chippendale’s style. I’ve been listening so long that I just assume it’s common knowledge. In case it’s not, it breaks down like this: a non-stop swirl of drums, filling up every single microsecond, with pitch shifted, distorted vocals buried deep in the back of the mix. Actually his music is exactly like his visual art; every available bit of space is taken up, and nothing is wasted. There is very little in the way of negative space in either his music or his paintings and drawings.
“Pus Mortem” does, however, manage to balance the bombast with moments of relatively thinner textures. Take for example “Neuronic Knife” where a constant, rapidly pulsing kick drum is periodically overshadowed by rapid fire snare rolls and vocals. The foot-pedal controlled synth lays down thick, fuzzed out low frequencies that dive-bomb in and out of the track.
The constant pulsation that exists on “Neuronic Knife” is pretty prevalent throughout the rest of the album as well, strengthening the underlying primal element that are at least partly implied on any album that is drum-centric. Additionally, the album opening adds to the primal element with a snarling exhale that serves to kickstart “Heebee Geebees.” Also, just because a track focuses around an idea on a rhythm, doesn’t mean that the music is completely devoid of melodic elements. This album opening is not short on melody one bit.
Synth and vocals play a bit more of a central role on “Supergenius.” The delayed vocals rise and fall, building dramatic tension over the low ebbing synth creating an overall foreboding vibe. “Off With His Head” ramps up the spastic drumming with layered and looped vocals over top, finding time to carve out a more complex and fluid structure that opts for something that resembles a more improvisatory approach than a one-part minimalist rumination on a single pattern.
“Pus Mortem” is available right now through the Black Pus bandcamp page for any price you choose. I would highly encourage supporting Chippendale in all his efforts. It’s important to help sustain someone that is sustaining themselves completely through creating art. Throw down at least $5 I would say. Even that doesn’t seem like enough, but it’s a start. Better yet, grab it on vinyl here.
And, like it says on the Bandcamp page: “PS. I PLAYED THIS LOUD SO YOU SHOULD TOO.” Follow his orders.