Examination of Violent Cinema Vol. 1
L. A.-based cinema-grind aficionados Graf Orlock return with their latest slab of grind-fuelled hardcore, dubbed Examination of Violent Cinema Vol. 1. The new release follows 2016’s ambitious Crime Traveler, which was an original story about a Canadian time-traveling assassin, and sees the band returning to their commentary on modern Hollywood films. The 12-track album tackles movies released in 2017, such as Blade Runner 2049, Brawl in Cell Block 99 and John Wick: Chapter 2, and captures Gorlock’s distinct brand of chaotic grind and fierce hardcore, along with their use of perfect, confrontational samples. Examination of Violent Cinema is intense and aggressive throughout, as tracks like “Back in the Ground” and “A Man Named Suicide” contain incessantly harsh riffs and pummelling drums. Even tracks with slower moments and groovier rhythms (“Alternate Route to Mexico” and “Five Stars General”) have an overarching gnarly tone and violent atmosphere. In true Gorlock style, the record also features thoroughly creative (albeit disgusting) album packaging, which in this case depicts an autopsied corpse, to match the hostility of its themes. ( The album
ing and gentle duet of “The Swimmer” evokes the optimism of summertime. Experimentation also has a home here: “Sunrise” is mathematical and electric; and “Dutch Bliss” begins minimal but is soon filled up and glowing with strings that create a slow chaos. Fellows is not interested in stories of stasis, but rather stories in which we can raise each other up. ( Vivat Virtute) ROCK comes packaged in a body bag that hides the cover art.) Examination of Violent Cinema is yet another completely unique offering from the band that exudes all of the dry humour and DIY aesthetic that they have become known for over the past 15 years. ( Vitriol)
Tell me about the theme and how it came about.
Guitarist/vocalist Jason Schmidt: It’s based on the concept that the film industry is this dead corpse, with remakes and all that stuff — it’s an autopsy of the film industry. All the movies are from 2017, and are pretty violent. But there are also lyrical parallels with things going on the world. For instance, [“A Man Named Suicide”] is from War for the Planet of the Apes, but if you didn’t know, you could be talking about Trump’s America.
Your packaging has always been really unique. Is it important to maintain that?
There’s not really a point in doing something physical if it’s not going to be cool. The drive in the band has always been to be pretty unique, and we want to keep that going for as long as we can, in terms of the visual representation, as well.
official release. Foxwarren cite Paul Simon and the Band as influences, which is certainly evident throughout, given the excellent musicianship, warmed by a mixture of ’70s tones and modern flourishes. If you fancy Shauf’s oft-poetic lyrics that dip into uncertainty in love, insecurity in the self and character study, you’ll have more to indulge in here. There’s a sparseness to certain songs, not unlike a Manitoba landscape at sundown. And as fleeting as a sunset, the lyrics on this record deal with feelings that are also so — lovers left and wondered about, and loss felt in life. It’s fitting that both “Lost in a Dream” and “Fall Into a Dream” melt into hypnotic instrumental breaks, while “Lost on You” has a pleasant start but haunting end, with slow-burning strings that turn to an eerie swirl of sound as Shauf repeats the song’s first line, “Oh patient day bring the idle night / Do we live with it if we close our eyes?” “I’ll Be Alright” features rather delightful percussion, and “Everything Apart” is an absolute tension-building standout (the music video by Ft. Langley is a real treat, too), almost locomotive in motion as it takes you to the finish. Here’s hoping a sophomore release won’t take a decade to surface. (Arts & Crafts) METAL