Olekranon: Identi
Inam Records

Olekranon's full-length follow-up to his Recycle Human Lung EP is, by Ryan Huber's own admission, the “logical extension of the more aggressive and driving nature of his sound.” Well, truer words were never spoken, as Identi is one immense, wailing wall of sound, ten exercises in noise and drones. It's also, however, much more than simply a one-note howl stretched out to forty-six minutes. Buried within the thunder (guitar-and-electronics-generated presumably) are beats, melodies, and, yes, even dynamic contrasts. The beat patterns in particular anchor the tracks and in doing so lend the material a semblance of normalcy that otherwise would be lacking were they absent.

“Tackel” encapsulates the Olekranon sound at album's start when it roars and squeals like some amplified torture session, with a molten fuzz tone incinerating the track's material throughout, while the later, more heavily-electronic setting “Foresworn” sputters like an overdriven machine. “Vericose” comes as a welcome surprise when a humming melody brings the intensity level down a few notches, even though a blistering wail gradually threatens to overwhelm it. Peel back the layers of cyclonic noise and clattering beat attack coating “Paladin” and one will actually find a rather grandiose theme lurking at its center. Similarly, if one were to remove the upper levels of corrosion in the title track, one would be left with a raging metal slab of post-rock that could appeal to any number of head-bangers. Even closer in style to post-rock, “Intrpepid Skin” allows even more light in, so much so that one even hears the hum of a bass line alongside the beats and guitars. At times, it seems as if, through sheer perversity, Huber builds up the noise quotient intentionally in his music so as to prevent it from becoming too accessible and to ward off the masses.

December 2009