1978, France. Agression Record / ARS 01
I’ll admit it: the older I get, the less time I have for sloppy nihilistic noise on the
gramophone. Ironic and all that, considering how much time I spent in my teens
through thirties obsessing over primitive shit music. On occasion, I’ll listen to
Drunks with Guns, or the Fuckin’ Flyin’A-Heads or (gasp) even Mahogany Brain
or a difficult Nurse With Wound LP, but when I do, it seems like more and more
often the context that the experience lands in, is more of amazement that the
racket actually happened and ended up on vinyl than actual enjoyment. This
one is so noisy that I felt my bourgie limitation halfway through the first song.
It is an odd one: A French youth-man by the name of Bruno Rooke traveled to
the Swedish small town of Karlstad in the late 1970s and recorded a screeching
trainwreck of a rock-noise album with his cousin and his cousin’s buddy. The
result is a exercise in Stooges/MC5 filtered through Mahogany Brain/NWW-list
free noise that truly stands outside of time and place. It is wildly unpretentious
and quite childlike in its attack, but also mired in the absolute self-awareness of
record collecting knowitall-ness: you can hear echoes of Amon Duul, Neu, Can,
Les Rallisez Denudes, Cro-Magnon and the Godz, and in a way it doesn’t really
matter if Bruno Rooke was aware of any of these bands or their idiom or not. He
made something amazing happen, recorded it himself, and released it himself.
Outside of space and time like all great art.