Two years ago, UK noise mongers Part Chimp left a monolithic, bone bashing impact with their sophomore effort I Am Come, a noisy, burly Sonic Youth-inspired mess of distortion and massive, bruising drum blasts. I Am Come was released on Mogwai’s Rock Action label, and though it was devoid of subtlety, it wasn’t hard to see why the Scottish post-rockers took a shine to this sweaty, lumbering hulk of a band. Powerful, tuneful and, above all, loud, they embodied a punk rock spirit while creating a sound that just plain rocked, even if it wasn’t all that accessible by indie rock standards. Still, the melodies were there, if obscured by a very coarse wall of fuzz.
After the excitement of I Am Come, the prospect of where the band’s sound would progress is a compelling one, though one still left to speculation for now. In the meantime, the group has released Cup an assortment of singles, b-sides and odds and ends that packs as much crunch and shriek as their prior full-length. “Bring Back the Sound” builds an ascending chug, like a hell bent chopper bound for hell. “Crash The High Octave,” meanwhile, is a two-chord rock anthem, with screeching vocals and space age static squeaking in and out between the inhuman riffs. And “Miser Chimp” simplifies it even more, pounding on one chord with no mercy, whatsoever.
“30,000000000000 People,” which appears in different form on I Am Come is a bit more tuneful and catchy, actual hooks and melody seeping through the heavy, thunderous din. The best song of the bunch is “New Cross,” a dark and menacing sound that bridges the gap between Death From Above 1979 and Motorhead, bass pummeling and throbbing with explosive abandon while guitars wail and harmonize, Valhalla-style. Oh, and there’s a Beatles cover, “Wild Honey Pie,” done with a destructive bent to rival that of The Pixies’ own BBC recorded cover.
Part Chimp, though ultimately a punk band, wields the Hammer of the Gods when they so choose, which makes their sound a fearsome and massive one. Though merely a between-album stopgap of outtake and rarity material, Cup offers similar beastly treats to that of their full-lengths. Once they get to album three, they’re bound to conjure an entire lightning storm of speaker-destroying, noise-wielding awesomeness.
Mclusky – McLusky Do Dallas
Parts & Labor – Stay Afraid
Sonic Youth – Goo
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.