Maudit A Minuit LP

1. I, Ian
2. The Men Who Could Read Their Own Minds
3. Dutroux Believer
4. Theme From "Jumanji Death Cult"
5. Achtung! Zombie
6. Attack Team Cronenberg
7. Chasteisenhower

"Maudit A Minuit" is the third storming album from Bristol's Geisha. Seven tracks come at you like a psychedelic black storm, their blown-out and raw rock infused with a bone-rattling recording and covered in a thick sheen of white noise and gritty distortion. As with their previous album, the spirit of seminal noise sludge rock is combined with violent, chaotic VHS noise!

Released 01/10/09.

Ltd. to 300 copies on black.

Geisha | Anton Maiof, Robbie Cooper, Ganiel Seruu, Steve James | Myspace | Facebook

Built On A Weak Spot
For a band that focuses on being as noisy as Geisha does, it’s pretty amazing that they’ve managed to release two pretty solid albums as quietly as they have over the past five years or so. Their last album Die Verbrechen Der Lieb, which was a favorite around here in 08, was a beastly helping of rock scrubbed down in a nasty sheet of swirling white noise. If you haven’t heard it, you might want to if “high-fidelity” is something that means very little to you. That being said, Geisha is back with their third album in hand titled Maudit a Minuit, which is being handled by the UK based Super-Fi Records. If you’ve been following and listening to the band up to this point, then you already have a decent idea as to what this sounds like. However, don’t expect the same treble heavy hiss that played a major role of the sound found on Die Verbrechen Der Lieb. This album lies somewhere in between the more riff rock styled approach that was more prominently featured on their debut LP Mondo Dell’orror and some of the hazier distorted moments of Verbrechen Der Lieb. Overall though, this marks another solid outing for the band. They’ve gradually become one of those bands that I have complete faith in whatever they release. Definitely one of the more underrated groups based in the UK right now, so please do check this out if you get the chance.

The Quietus
If you think that sounds like something you'd fuck with, you should probably take a punt at Geisha, a Bristol band who have been quietly deafening for the best part of a decade now. Maudit A Minuit is their third album; like the others it's on the Superfi label, and like the others it finds them gorging on their own taste in Amphetamine Reptile/Drunks With Guns basementcore, olde tyme power electronics and proud heavy metal excess. What could be a regrettable cobbling of idioms joins together as one singular voice, and gives you the hairdryer treatment for 40 minutes.

Returning to the tradition of deep, driving songs, arid clean guitars, doom-inflected progressions, squealing noise, and album titles in different languages (see the debut LP Mondo Dell’orrore, and follow-up Die Verbrechen), Bristol’s Geisha are back with their 3rd tour de force of melody drenched, nerve dissecting noise-metal. It’s the best one yet, building on the powerful clean/ugly juxtaposition of the swirl and shine masterpiece Mondo Dell’orrore, while eschewing a bit of the extended white noise present on the follow-up Die Verbrechen. This band can seemingly do no wrong, and Maudit a Minuit, is a late runner for album of the year in my book. The instrumentation here is breathtaking, utilizing melodic layering (dominated by sweeping clean guitars) and the driving rhythms of the Shiner/Hum school of shimmering, HEAVY rock, which is subsequently pile-drived into a spiraling abyss of Hammerhead/Unsane/Cherubs styled noise disintegration. The result is a maddening wall of sound with screams, hooks, riffs, and ambiguous experimentation etched into the band’s decaying audio skyscrapers. Even at their shortest, these songs take you on a ride, switching up the mood, pacing, and volume at several key points. “I, Ian” tears the roof off the house with a treacherous, street level display of rage and firepower. We find the band half-drunk, stumbling down Unsane’s alley looking for a brawl, wielding rocked-out, ear-damaged riffs in one hand, and wind-whipped noise guitar spires in the other, on an alcohol fueled mission to steal Curran and Signorelli right from under Spence’s nose! The rhythm section really has that same punch as Unsane’s mighty duo, providing a tense backdrop for the schizophrenic guitar runs (sometimes almost Sabbath tinged, and at other times a sheer tidal wave of piercing white noise), and blackened vocal screams. But then, something changes. For the finale the band washes over the surging, rhythmic squalor with soaring, melodic progressions and atmospheric feedback usage. Everything goes supernova for a while in this track, but it gives you a chance to sit back, relax, reflect on life and watch the beauty of space shuttles crashing into your back yard. Quite a sight, and surely something that will freak out the neighbors! Oh yeah, they manage to milk the melodies throughout the climax without borrowing one trick from the post-doom playbook. A literal Hail Mary in a heavy music world where it’s much easier to lift some stock ebb n’ flow from Isis (and I’m not a hater here, everything up to Oceanic sits just fine with me) and Cult of Luna (zzzz), as opposed to drawing from the rumbling Americana delivered by Midwestern greats Shiner, and Hum. The opening of, “The Men Who Could Read Their Own Minds,” further proves my thesis. A descending riff layered with stark clean melodies, and lockstep rhythms opens things up nicely, adding the shredded larynx hollers as another instrument instead of a focal point. They find a mood, and dig the fingernails in until they draw blood, heightening the suspense with the whispered vocals, acoustic malice, blackened arpeggios (played in an exciting clean style) and general malevolence of the mid-track bridge. It’s a segment that’ll blast you out of your mind, and one that shows the visionary process pumping the iron heart of this band. In the hallucinatory labs of the Geisha Noise Research Group though, nothing is as it seems, and the band erases any memory of haunting melody with a crescendo of dirge-y, doomed-out Cherubs informed licks, caterwauling noise, relentless screaming, and unrepentant kit abuse that materializes into one red herring of an ending, one that returns to scraping, esoteric song craft when you least expect it. Even better is the wandering country twang, meets hate-sludge shamble of “Dutroux Believer,” and its Hand of God intro that trips over obstacles including bone piles, and still warm internal organs, breaking its own neck with sludge-y riffing, mind-raping vocals, and pounding rhythms, while a soothing acoustic passage plays in the background. The heaviness soon subsides into bluesy bass fuzz, piano, and delicate acoustic guitar. Dwelling in a momentary lull of void, the band returns with a cascading guitar melody that literally freezes the blood with an otherworldly chill (still backed by a lingering piano touch), working against the stoned bass groove, distant singing, and pocket drum work. The beautiful melody eventually becomes distorted, twisting into a high-end mutation of itself, while a second guitar line bores into your cranium with frightening precision. Before long you’re lost in a maze of mangled guitar hooks, bowel-shaking rhythms, and screams filtered through LSD, a fucking nightmare realm where Geisha is king, queen, and high priest. I could listen to this song over and over for months on end and never tire of it. Side A culminates with the slow burning, “Theme from Jumanji Death Cult,” another piece that builds steadily with murmured vocals, light cymbal accents, pristine guitar melodies, and perhaps some backing cello (can’t quite tell, but it sounds like it on headphones). It wafts in slowly like a wave of locusts dead set on munching a farmer’s crop, and wrangles with a blink and you’ll miss it break of stuttering, sludge-ridden riffs and spine tingling noise abrasion. They sink back down into understated ambience before going for broke with a titillating mixture of heaving distortion, growling bass groove, marching beats, cavernous screams, and a fully fleshed out melodic guitar lead; another composition that’ll wring your heart until it’s a ghastly white color. Don’t think things will settle down when you flip sides either. “Achtung! Zombie” is a real moody bastard that packs more into four minutes than most bands pack into an LP, again beginning with the some stick tapping drum mettle and a marching beat getting busy behind ominous clean guitar. There’s a momentary lapse of hopeless sludge/doom girth, but it quickly flies into frenzied Hammerhead/Cherubs laceration; surging, invigorating, and brimming with painful guitar squeals. They break things down again into a tranquil aura, before spitting out some slide-y, acidic Jesus Lizard guitar chords, and jackhammer rhythms; setting things up nicely for another favorite of mine, “Attack Team Cronenberg.” At 7 minutes in length, it’s probably the most expansive track on the record, but never lags for a second. It’s haunting right out of the gate with keys, and clean melody colliding with in-the-red bass distortion, and stop/start drum work. Without a doubt it’s probably the catchiest composition the band has recorded to date, pushing forward with an anxious guitar line, setting the stage for the rhythm section to take over. Jangled, jumbled guitar chords are literally scraped out over the intoxicating rhythmic swagger, with vocals drunkenly mumbled somewhere out in left field. Despite it’s catchiness, the track is highly oppressive, and it’s both a surprise and a welcome expectation when the band descends the maw of Hell, bringing back a ripping, jet-fuel charged noise-rock shuffle that really kicks the energy up to a brand new level. Then they warp themselves into some deranged version of Cherubs covering Discharge with a burst of slobbering, retching noise-punk that’ll jump out of your speakers and chop up your fine china with a fireman’s axe. The ending is an appropriate curmudgeon of broken FX pedals soaked in battery acid, boiling over with the murderous carnage of Albini’s most repugnant noise forays. Closer “Chaseteisenhower” is another creepy crawler, encompassing a bit of everything I’ve described so far. If the melodic and harsh rock combination cooked up by the band has been your cup of tea so far, you’ll find that this one is right on the money for a closing statement. Geisha has hit the big leagues. I have really been into what they’ve been doing all along, and there are no complaints I can levy against the band’s prior outings, but this one takes all of those elements and ups the ante. Maudit a Minuit is infectious, perfectly played, and completely terrifying. One minute you’ll be melting into some truly captivating ambience, and the next you’re ejected into deep space without a suit, feeling the skin tear away from your muscles. These maniacs walk a fine line, and never lose their footing for a second. Not much else to say here (didn’t I say enough in the first place? Haha!). Maudit a Minuit is Geisha’s masterwork. At this point I’d follow Geisha off the edge of a cliff, and be completely happy about hitting every jagged chord, and textured nuance on the way down! This LP left me stumbling over words, and constructing sputtering lists of descriptors trying to put a bead on it; always a good sign. If noise-rock is your thing, Maudit a Minuit is just what you need.