Kollaps' Sibling Lovers, the much anticipated follow-up to their Heartworm EP, is a release as primal as it is loud. The noise/industrial three-piece have gone to efforts to create something that feels claustrophobic, droning and bound to repetitive cycles which, conceptually, works in their favour.
Hearing the word 'repetitive' as a description could conjure up negative connotations and rightly so - it's often attached to irritation or boredom (see: pop music). However, Kollaps flip the concept of repetition on its head by turning it into a soundscape of rhythm and evolution. Tracks like Sibling Lovers, Capitalism and Suck work with repeating bass riffs and percussion hits that work like a musical equivalent of monastic chanting. Vocalist Wade Black then guides and raises the music with his voice, creating tension and pressure as he turns his lyrical delivery from groans and whispers into distortion soaked howling - an effective meter for the music. This isn't the first time a band has used this effectively, and comparisons to the wails and song structure found on early Swans recordings wouldn't be too far of a stretch.
The lyrical/vocal elements of the album lack in flowery poetry but more than make up for it in the delivery. To deconstruct the music, it's almost crucial to that the vocals perform hastily stab at the listener to keep the theme and the aggression in the music quick and to the point. A fine example of this is rolls in from the start of the album with whispers of 'I am cancer/and I love you' creating something unsettling while fairly straightforward. It doesn't need to paint a giant whimsical picture to bathe the listener in their own sick, proving you don't need to dress up your vocals to easily and effectively make a point.
As a final note, the mix on the album is definitely cleaner than Kollaps' live performance, which is often dominated by the acoustics of whatever venue dares to hold them. While their live show earns reverence for the deafening headfuck of raw noise, distortion and reverb echoing off the walls, the recording captures subtle aspects of the band's composing skills otherwise missed – tinny clashes off the percussion and ambient undertones being two examples of neat added touches hidden behind the wall of noise. Sibling Lovers both live and recorded ticks huge boxes for making a listener feel something savage, disgusting and engaging at the same time - and for that it's something worthy of respect.
Kollaps' Sibling Lovers comes out on Trait Records on September 29. Listen to the first two singles on their bandcamp, here.