Lungbutter - Honey - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Lungbutter - Honey

by Mark Moody Rating:8 Release Date:2019-05-31
Lungbutter - Honey
Lungbutter - Honey

Your future must be bright.  You have to make a difference.  You have to make connections and network.  You have to think good thoughts and have your best day ever.  You must buy your own property and install solar panels in order to contribute to society.  The frantic opening guitar squall of Montreal’s noise trio Lungbutter’s full-length debut, Honey, sound a siren.  Guitarist Kaity Zozula has many such febrile flights of fancy over the course of the album.  As if to signal we all must achieve our best this instant, but drummer Joni Sadler and vocalist Ky Brooks aren’t about to let that happen.  Every time Zozula seems about to break free, her bandmates shut the lid on the pot.  Pulling the three of them back into the ooze of poutine gravy set one notch below recommended heat.

Though having been in other bands, the literal and figurative sludge that Lungbutter play around in arc back to earlier progenitors of the noise movement.  Bands like Ut that detachedly noted the quagmire that we muck about in or the likewise thickly named Tar that had the same penchant for guitar squall kept earthbound by an inescapable density.  In spite of that, Brooks’ sung/spoke vocals come through clearly even though their voice barely raises above the din.  Some of the longest songs here make the most impact as there is more time to lay out the parts.  Songs like ‘Vile’, ‘Intrinsic’, and the paint peeling final track, ‘Veneer’, hold the listener’s attention but also get the band’s point across as the sonics are smeared across an endless array of spoken platitudes.  Not unlike artist Barbara Kruger’s textual juxtapositions of what is societally promoted.  Maybe there is freedom in not always thinking the good thoughts that Brooks intones with a whiff of irony.

Elsewhere though the band revels in the everyday.  Album standout ‘Flat White’ rolls around in the playground of the basest of language - “bark”, “plank”, “boat”, “pink”.  A celebration of the freedom of lingual expression if there ever was one and one of the grooviest songs of the year.  And the obliqueness rolled up in the message of self-taught artist ‘Henry Darger’ and his “five miles” become of utmost import in the band’s hands.   Or sometimes Brooks just wants to detail a Julie Andrews-ish list of their favorite (and unfavorite) things on ‘Maryland’.

Though the blast of scrambled distorto frequency on ‘Veneer’ sounds like something off of Hüsker Dü’s Zen Arcade, unlike Bob Mould, Brooks rarely screams out against what antagonizes them.  There is a moment of vocal catharsis on ‘Intrinsic’, but primarily the band lets the music do the talking.  As heavy of a leaden blanket Lungbutter puts on things, Honey is far from the goth or emo approach of wallowing in your sorrows.  It’s more a blast against the insidious toxic lining that underlies today’s continual messages of positivity (“choose joy” for instance) that we all are bombarded with. 

Sometimes we don’t have our best day or we might not even recycle something. Those days are fine too.  That should go without saying, so far be it for Lungbutter to champion normalcy for us.  What’s left unsaid here is broadcast at maximum volume and we are all the better for it.  Like the fly that gets stuck in the treacly allure of “all too easy” comfort food, sometimes all we want is the survivor’s noisy path out.            



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