CD Review: Bison B.C. - Lovelessness

Bison B.C. - Lovelessness
Metal Blade Records
All Access Review: A
Bison B.C. - Lovelessness 2012
Raw energy, boiling frustration and churning riffage fuel the impossibly heavy Lovelessness, a staggeringly brilliant mess of rugged, rampaging thrash metal brought forth by Bison B.C. Unloved, they charge out of Vancouver with a messed-up head, ragged clothes and feral, throat-shredding vocals strained beyond medically acceptable limits. These skid-row noisemakers have been rejected and they respond by whipping up a frighteningly intense, incredibly visceral racket that’s every bit the measure of Mastodon’s immense rogue wave of guitars and High On Fire’s tempestuous fury.
Even as dust bowls of drums and bass blot out the sun and come flying across these sonic plains, the rich, deep tones and bug-eyed aggression James Farwell and Dan And coax from their guitars cut through the storms like giant, gleaming swords. Split into halves, the 9-minute plus “Anxiety Puke/Lovelessness” flails wildly with the racing heartbeat of a blinded fighter in a prison riot, before slowing to a menacing crawl. In the sludgy, 11-minute slog through the thick tension of “Blood Music,” Bison B.C. tramps across miles of sonic mud and meaty, barbed-wire riffs and lives to tell about it. This is trench warfare, and Bison B.C. seems to fancy it.
Bayonets fixed, Bison B.C. sneaks into “Last and First Things” and takes it by force in thrilling fashion, crazily vandalizing the place with sharpened, flashing axe work and rhythmic brutality, much as they do in the surging, slow burning “Clozapine Dream.” Theirs is a world where even the most poisonous and treacherous love is not just hard to find, it’s impossible and their lyrics reflect that hopelessness. That fact doesn’t leave them depressed; instead, it fills them destructive anger, the kind that drives men to acts of vengeance. Like bilious punk terrorists the Jesus Lizard did in the ‘90s, Bison B.C. strike out in bold, decisive ways, delivering bare-knuckled hooks that turn rib cages into kindling, all while careening around the tightest of turns as only the most daring of riff-mongering daredevils could.

Produced by the celebrated Sanford Parker, best known for his work with Pelican and Nachtmystium, the high-powered Lovelessness, out on Metal Blade, is a wild horse of an album, bucking and kicking and twisting its body of versatile dynamics to throw riders to the ground in the most violent manner possible. Breakneck, stampeding tempos suddenly downshift to monstrous stomps, and all of it is delivered with bone-crushing violence. Without a conscience, Lovelessness drags your beaten, lifeless body – offering no resistance after just one punishing listen – out into the streets to be devoured and torn apart by coyotes. Either get this album or get out of its way. 

-            Peter Lindblad

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