Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Kollapsing new people

The new clip for 'Heartworm' by Kollaps​, from St. Kilda in Melbourne, along with their forthcoming four-song cassette/download EP by the same name (via Belgian label Silken Tofu), is something I've been waiting to catch some kind of glimpse of/clues about for perhaps about a year or so.

At that time, I discovered Kollaps via a handful of live recordings on Youtube; a young band playing that raucous antipodean brand of bludgeoning, harrowing music that tends to attract terms like no wave, swamp rock, post-punk, noise-industrial... There was the occasional Neubauten cover, which might seem predictable enough from a band called Kollaps, but when delivered within the confines of a 'conventional rock' context (to use the term very broadly), the effect was to subvert both formats simultaneously.

There were no Kollaps demos; no studio recordings, no downloads (so far as I know) - just a couple of live clips on Youtube. And then they went into hibernation, apparently intent on giving themselves a bit of an overhaul. Even the live videos, then the only tantalising hint at what they might next become, vanished.

The result, on re-emergence, is immediately more refined. 'Heartworm' commences in a fairly dark, ambient (without being "dark ambient"), Avantgarde electronic vein - that uneasy sound people might associate with Coil​, for instance; an aural snapshot of brooding menace, at the early onset of drug psychosis.

Were it not for singer/guitarist Wade Black's frequent barks of "SICK! ... SICK!...", you might soon start to wonder if perhaps they've sanded off too many of the jagged edges. You wouldn't be worried for long. Just a couple of minutes in, and 'Heartworm' reaches its crescendo; a squalling, caterwauling, frenzied culmination of the trio's characteristic influences - 'Friend Catcher' meets 'Headcleaner'. I say crescendo, but then, they just keep that howling noise on going.

The video was shot by Hugh Marchant; partly during a band rehearsal at the Vault in St. Kilda, and partly during a live performance at Esso squat in Essendon, June 2015. Some of Marchant's previous credits include work in the art and special effects departments for John Hillcoat's 'The Road'; Nick Cave's (Hillcoat-directed) 'The Proposition'; and the 'Autoluminescent: Rowland S. Howard' documentary.

The version of the 'Heartworm' clip embedded above is from Youtube, as that's all blogspot would let me do, but for quality's sake, this Vimeo link is recommended: