The spirit of independence is a fickle concept, especially if we’re talking in the music industry or from the perspective of a music discovery blog. The commonplace definition we use for an independent band is a band trying to make a living from the music they create, without major financial backing from a record company or label. Some bands cut steps further than this by producing, mixing and mastering their own content or manufacturing and distributing the albums themselves, sometimes often to reduce the cost or because they have the necessary skills to do it themselves. You could therefore claim that these extra steps could in fact symbolise a greater level of independence, ruling out an extra set of middle men to pay in order to spread their music as far and wide as possible. This philosophy could be stretched into its own debate, but I’m going to keep it at this level of simplicity of the purpose of the article. You see, I share the same level of independence with Canada’s Fawnchopper. I settle on working for myself, having found these guys through my own means, albeit through the medium of Bandcamp. Where Fawnchopper are technically signed to independent imprint Filth Regime Records, in reality, they are essentially on their own to preach the progressive annihilation that their debut album Kind Of Red imbues. Though for dividing such a task between just three individuals, the sheer sonic force from these gentlemen creates an ungodly amount of noise in the best way imaginable. Picture Mastodon and Godflesh starting a riot in the middle of an abandoned factory, nestled in a swampy heartland and you’re pretty close metaphorically. Lead single Kill This Melody is the perfect exposé for this vision, sludgy ripples quickly formulating from heavily distorted guitar and relentless skin bashing at the inset. Not initially dangerous, but you get a glimpse of depravity from a female moan shortly afterwards, right before the hammer comes down on proceedings. A pair of prominent barks narrate a tale of unrequited longing and torment in the eyes of an unseen protagonist, all the while guitar and bass bleeding their own fuzz-sodden dialogue into the volatile mixture. Drums are beaten hard enough to induce blunt force trauma and there’s a sinister-sounding ambient undertow present throughout this primal carnage that pumps far more darkness into the heart of the music. Of which the overdrive kicks in around the two-minute mark, switching to instrumental, pure mechanised brutality, a realm beyond unsettling to say the least and it only gathers strength the further the track progresses. A form of order is briefly restored in the refrain of ‘Kill this melody’ but it increasingly becomes more hostile and violent before exponential static build-up kills the song dead in its tracks, perhaps a somewhat ironic sentiment. With a name like Fawnchopper, you don’t come expecting a picnic in the woods. This is an industrial-strength, sludge nightmare, but if you can sift through the jet-black chasm presented before you, you are rewarded with one hell of a listening experience. Maybe their independence wasn’t so much of a bad thing, especially when you have the freedom to create an admittedly testing album for the faint-hearted, but an album that nonetheless sheds light on a highly skilled, but defiantly darker level of songwriting, among the best released this year.
To truly appreciate this for yourselves, Fawnchopper not only have Kind Of Red in full on their Bandcamp page, but are giving it to you for absolutely nothing, which I implore you to accept with open arms. If you are the giving kind though, you can also pay for a digital download from most respected music retailers, which I would also highly recommend. And if you enjoyed this melody, then there’s a video to accompany it, which is not entirely safe for work.
Go say things to them:
And if you would really like to, you can go say things to me too, I won’t be mad if you don’t: