Akris - Self Titled (Domestic Genocide Records)

A veritable feast of bass...
Release Date: 
30 Sep 2013 - 11:30pm

Oof! This debut album from Akris is a bass-centric slasher fest. It's experimental/punk/sludge/noise/psychedelica and a host of other things but boring it certainly is not. Fronted by bassist/vocalist Helena Goldberg (who is also a classically trained pianist apparently), who keeps things suitably experimental with her roaming bass stylings and some sweet vocal work that swings from the mournful to the screaming nutjob in the blink of eye.

Opening with Fighter Pilot it's all bit 'garage band production' that conjures the baggy joy of early Pixies. It's sludge-punk fun. Perhaps a tad basic but still a lot of fun. The reverb from Brown has my nicknacks vibrating off the shelf and I suspect this track may have totally fucked my speakers with its massive bottom end. I'm reminded of drugged up adolescents in a jam room at times, such is the nature of this stuff but it's totally bass driven and kind of doomish so I'm quite happy drowning in the four string massacre. I think Helena's vocals are one of the strongest things on here despite elements of particular tracks not quite working; at times it can sound like a someone learning to play, stuttering over notes and trying to remember the tune as they go along - but who am I to piss on someone ele's art? All I know is that I'm choking on bass fudge and I'm loving it.

Sam Lohman is on drum duty and I like what he does; he gets a kind of jazz fill going on through a few of the tracks and he's more than a match for Ms Goldberg's throbbing bass lines - I think Scott Nussman throws in some guitar work and synth at points too, just to add some further sonic flourishes to the album, such as the insectoid intro to Profit.

Row of Lights is terribly violent ("She went to the mountain") and I think the live arena is the place to catch Akris; if only to get a taste of their obvious energy. There's a consistency to their music that conjures the punk attitude very well and having your flesh torn by every note from the bass can only be a good thing. After the slow and mournful (yet crushingly heavy) Redeemer and Riverbed you get the epic Vomit Within, which is swiftly followed up by the almost funkish Suffocate and then the album's second epic Part of Me which runs for over 14 minutes (I think this may well have a mystery tune tacked on). Well, that's my bass fix sorted for the next couple of days.

Thick, fudgy and baggy. The art of Akris is a boon for us all.