Updated: Jan 14, 2019
Band: Tuscoma Title: Arkhitecturenominus Label: Antena Krzyku Records/Muzai Records Release date: August 16, 2018 Country: New Zealand Format reviewed: mp3 (vbr) promo
Post-punk has entered a new era. The thought provoking subgenre is now more avantgarde than ever before. Sound wise, the ever expending soundscapes have evolved to incorporate hardcore, grind, noise, gaze, and in the case of TUSCOMA’s full-length debut release, an undeniably huge black metal influence.
TUSCOMA, a band virtually unknown on the American scene, was formed in Wellington, New Zealand, under the initial tag of Hollywoodfun Downstairs (HFD). From the get-go, the band (at the time a trio) had received a series of commendable accolades, in large part for their obvious uniqueness, which in itself allowed them to share the stage with acts such as Le Butcherettes, Buzzcocks, and Closet Disco Queen, to name just a very few. Further cementing their reputation lays in the band relentlessly performing about 500 shows in just 5 years, of which a vast majority (60%) on the underground European circuits.
After becoming a duo in 2015, Kurt Williams, handling the guitar and vocals duties, and Joe Wright, on the drums, toured and released material under the HFD tag, including the full-length “Tetris” (2017). An album marking an important stylistic change, gaining a much more aggressive edge, pushing their fan’s expectations into a newer dimension, and further allowing room for future developments. On May 27, 2018, the duo decided to changed their name, and settled for the moniker TUSCOMA, while the work for the upcoming release was finalizing. With the release of “Arkhitecturenominus” we find the band pushing the boundaries of their creation even further. Faster, darker and more aggressive than ever! By “blackening” their sound, the band vastly exploits a variety of very extreme sounding elements: from the extraordinary, uber fast drumming, to the shark tooth – chilling guitar work and demonically desperate vocals. The result: a total assault on the listener’s perceptions, leading to full surrender and capitulation of senses. The words “industrial wood chipper” continue to come to mind every time I listen to this release. The aforementioned, suffocating density and unceasing sonic assault is done with utter precision, almost mechanical, without any margin for human error. With that said, there are plenty of elements reminding us that we are witnessing human emotions, and not only from listening to Kurt’s mind boggling vocal desperation, but also from his liberal use of (guitar) feedback, tormented strings picking, deliberate use of sonic artifacts, and Joe’s intense drum fills, cymbals work and constant tempo changes. I must remind the reader: this band is a duo!
Like their previous effort, this album was recorded at Blue Barn Studios in Wellington, NZ by James Goldsmith, and was mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley at The Atomic Garden in San Francisco, US. The vinyl LP version is available via the Polish label Antena Krzyku Records, while the CD release is being handled by Muzai Records. In support for it’s release, TUSCOMA is taking over New Zealand, UK and Europe with a marathon tour, starting on August 18th. Highly recommended. 8.5/10
Originally published on Blessed Altar Zine.
© 2018 by Emil Chiru