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THE POPE – The Jazzman Cometh (Wäntage USA)

Posted: September 7th, 2005, by Simon Minter

I’m not on the payroll for Wäntage USA, in case my continual reviewing of their releases seems suspicious. They just keep releasing stuff that I want to give some wider exposure. Anyway. This five-track, thirteen-minute CD sounds like it was recorded five hundred miles underground in a lava-filled bunker. To strip The Pope down (no religion-baiting pun intended) would be to reveal, maybe, a pretty average hard rockin’ grunge outfit. They have pounding drums, riffs emerging out of sludgey, overdriven guitar lines, and yelping, tortured lyrics. What gives them their edge – on this recording, at least – is the incredible noise they’ve piled on top of everything. It’s all feedback, grime and intensity. I’d be interested to see the more Wolf Eyes-like direction they edge towards with some more abstract mid-song passages, but then again, I’d be interested to see them continue to batter the hell out of music, existing in their own peculiar fuzzy pit.

Wäntage USA
The Pope

Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


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