Envy: Insomniac Doze
Temporary Residence

Miss Violetta Beauregarde: Odi Profanum Vulgus Et Arceo
Temporary Residence

Listening to Insomniac Doze, the Temporary Residence debut from Hardcore Japanese outfit Envy, makes me wish I owned more gear than just a stereo. If I did, the first thing I would do is remove every trace of Tetsuya Fukagawa's torturous, throat-shredding screams from the seven-track collection. Yes, I'll concede the 'singing' makes an impact but it's ugly nevertheless, to a large degree because it's such a monotonous, one-note howl. Still, the album is otherwise effective. It opens magnificently with the stabbing thunder and guitar roar of “Further Ahead of Warp,” at least, that is, until two minutes in when Fukagawa's singing intrudes, briefly negating the song's impact. Thankfully the moment passes quickly, allowing the song to resume its graceful trajectory through an entrancing middle section, but then just as quickly the screaming returns. Regrettably, the gut-wrenching sound shows up in “Shield of Selflessness” and “Scene” too, its presence so unpleasant that when a speaking voice and, in “Crystallize,” soft singing surfaces, they're doubly welcome. By the time Fukagawa's wail surfaces in “Night In Winter,” its effect is comical more than anything. Instrumentally and compositionally, Envy is a match for any number of anthemic post-rock groups. The crystalline guitar work and delicately chiming playing by Nobukata Kawai and Masahiro Tobita often recalls Giardini di Mirò and the control with which Envy segues from quiet to loud is impressive too, especially during the beautifully modulated, 15-minute epic “The Unknown Glow.” There's certainly no questioning the passionate intensity or visceral power of Envy's attack.

Temporary Residence plunges even further off the deep end with Odi Profanum Vulgus Et Arceo (I hate the vulgar rabble, and drive them away), the second Molotov cocktail by one Miss Violetta Beauregarde. The provocateur's 16 scabrous 'Grind-hop' samplings check in at a little less than 20 minutes and make T.Raumschmiere sound about as threatening as Perry Como. MVB's material is a throbbing spew of gabba, punk, and hardcore thrown together from fractured electronics, curdling screams, and brain-dead beats. The music's proudly offensive, abrasive, and tasteless, something one would probably glean from song titles alone (believe it or not, “Adolf Hitler's Emotional Side” is one of the least offensive).

September 2006