Bonnacons of Doom - Bonnacons of Doom

by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2018-05-18
Bonnacons of Doom debut album
Bonnacons of Doom debut album

Bonnacons of Doom are a collective, mainly based in Liverpool. They include members of Mugstar, Jarvis Cocker’s band and Youthmovies. This is their debut album and it was recorded, mostly in single takes, with MJ from Hookworms at his Suburban Home studio.

Solus starts with quiet electronic noise and singer Kate gasping ‘I’ before a heavy bass drone and primitive drum beat come in. On a second track Kate begins a wordless, meandering vocal. Her voice, high and pure, cuts through the under-lying miasma without difficulty. Three minutes in and two incredibly distorted and discordant guitars burst in (played by Rob and Dave, just first names here). Kate continues on two tracks, her voice filling out the higher space above the noise. There is a slightly occult, witchy atmosphere here that will continue throughout the album.

Jason’s overdriven bass begins Argenta. Playing just one note, he is joined by Sam on drums. This track is slightly quieter. The vocal is still predominantly wordless, in keeping with the improvisatory nature of these recordings. But the guitars are more restrained, playing a version of Collision by Loop. The intensity increases and Kate breaks into a high-pitched scream. Halfway through the guitars start to leave the planet. The song breaks down to just drums, bass and vocals and is then slowly rebuilt again, this time with increasing speed. There is another gradual drop out and we are on to the next track.

A tolling bell starts Industria off in a particularly Black Sabbathy way, albeit with some underlying electronic weirdness from Alex. Again the feeling is quite occult, as a deep male voice holds long wordless notes (quite like Augm by Can) whilst a storm of chaos gathers. That essentially is the track. It is another change of pace, this time more drone based but it still creates a feeling of unease and impending doom. Rhizome begins with a tribal tom beat and delayed guitars. Again, Jason’s bass is a huge growling beast, a beast that growls one note. The guitars are higher this time and help the band to create a full sound as the track builds into a brutal, pounding monstrosity.

The final track, Plantae, starts with a spidery guitar line. The second guitar comes in with a complimentary line and Kate joins the rest of the band. This track feels a little more planned out (there are lyrics) but that is another useful change of pace in what is basically a one-chord album. Kate’s voice is reminiscent of Patti Smith’s in the throes of a Shamanic trance. The bass is still monstrous and the scream also comes out as the track moves from full-tilt brutality to slightly more restrained brutality. Another influence could possibly be Brainticket, such are the levels of Psychedelic weirdness, unease and intensity that are reached before the track and album are finally laid to rest.

Rocket Recordings keep finding these bands. Or these bands keep finding Rocket Recordings. It is clearly a safe place for improvised, Occult weirdness. Bonnacons of Doom have a couple of unique selling points – the fact that it is mainly improvised, which gives it a flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants feeling; and also the way Kate’s voice works with the noise and drones. There is a beauty and beast feeling but also the knowledge that some of the sounds that she is making are as unhinged as anything that the other instruments can come up with. Kind of like Comus working with Sunn O))). A great release from a band that I feel might totally change the rules again next time around.

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