The bio-mechanical symphony of an iron bound discarded graveyard slowly bent, molded into new form and life could be described as the sounds laid down on Montreal noise busters Big Brave’s Au De La. The five songs give feelings of blow torches, drills, grinders and hammers instead of the guitars and drums that create the gut-churning assembly sounds engraved within. Souls of a new machine dug up, rapidly reused crying out their history being scrap fed, shoved and shifted into new form.
Au De La, the prototype of a new machine being birthed, so to speak, is like an ongoing chisel to the ears if not for the saving grace of female vocals that come in like a beacon of beauty, intersecting and interacting with the industrializing process. Though the voice is a co-creator it also puts nice distracting images in mind such as Avril Lavigne, Natalie Merchant and Dolores O’Riordan. Dark as they may become as the music plays. She also carries a rebellious 80’s punk anarchy, a smooth, sexy, seductive bite and a screaming thrashing straight jacket clad lunatic’s roar. When she’s joined on mic it almost turns into a bizarre cult yelling chant.
The band also formulates and experiments with sounds of noise/hardcore punk, atmospheric doom and grind. Big Brave could be called Tool meets Godflesh with noise punk, garage metal, desolate soundscapes and anything loud that makes noise while beating the shit out of.
“On The By And By And Thereon” A mechanical junkyard’s scrap and rubble come to life in a screeching, sheet bending surreal dance reserved for the ending seconds of a nightmare. Female vocals come a minute in like a message of hope, amongst the trans-morphing creations. Creating riffs with a six string welder’s glove and helmet, bearing the sounds of rustic age brought back from the heap.
“Look At How The World Has Made A Change” is almost 12 minutes of barren landscapes, desolation in the air as wind carries long past memories with sand covering well buried secrets. The music and scenery shift, fade out and evolve ending with an empirical toned march of the droids. There’s a tribal, ritualistic feel to the beat and sounds as if the instruments themselves celebrate these strange auditory treasures or horrors depending on POV.
There’s a sinister anxiety laced up in the feedback like the strings are trying to unlock the gates of hell on “do.no.harm.do.no.wrong.Do.No.Harm.Do.No…” Just as you’re used to the sounds of oncoming Armageddon, vocals come in quick, strong and high pitched startling the ear with jarring effect. A slow, dragging journey, feet shackled, shambling through purgatory with vocals screaming out the trapped soul’s voice. Guitars accompany the screams, twanging along wrenching, squealing out notes like tangled personalities mangling the already unstable minds.
Guitars surface and resurface through murk on “And As The Waters Go.” There’s a hopeless, ethereal quality in the vocals until she screams out frustration shrieking the words as guitars plunge into depths of unconventional sound.
“(re) Collection Part II” is 13 minutes that sound pulled from an acid trip gone wrong and too long. Mudded, surreal landscapes fit in for a far out high, going on and on and… Guitars crawl through the mounds of dusted hills as vocals come in on a whim and the wind, praising the instrumental isolation. A strange Pink Floyd like vocal tribute comes mid-song flushed away by a cathartic ramming jam session that drifts into a fluid subdued haze.
The trio that has chiseled rock formations into music has done so since 2012. Au De La brings the audio attractiveness of pitchforks gnarling in a grinder while certain songs have hidden classical help from Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra violinist Jessica Moss. They released their debut EP An Understanding Between People in 2013 and self-released debut LP Feral Verdure the next year. They’re proud to call Southern Lord their home.
Au De La will be available through Southern Lord