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sissy spaek : french record

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Since 1999, Sissy Spacek has been one of the most difficult groups around, with a starting point of full-on blur/grindcore and an evolution to the definition of the most extreme/intense fringes of musique concrete, instantly identifiable by the handy work of John Wiese. On this, their fifth proper album, Sissy Spacek explore new territory, as always, and take turns no one could foresee into electro-acoustic improv, collage, industrial, noise and heavy metal, with a line up that includes Kevin Drumm, Kate Hall (Mika Miko), Sam Ott (The Fucking Angels), Corydon Ronnau, John Wiese, and C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core). French Record is their strongest and most mature yet.



01 Scorpion Whip 3:51
02 Sepsis 0:52
03 Sequins 1:20
04 Drum Puzzle 0:18
05 Abdomen 0:13
06 Contending Weapon 0:35
07 Mellow Speaker 0:21
08 Harm 4:06
09 Flood 2:15
10 Exit Seating 4:19
11 Really Into The Haters 8:51
12 Glass Fork (Harm) 4:21
13 Sepsis 2:22
14 Deep Water 4:23


"The French record finds Sissy Spacek returning to more noisy terrority after the often improvised and more subdued California Ax box set, but like the box set this often walks new and adventurous ground twisting their sound into new divine sonic mayhem.

Opening things up we have Scorpion Whip which uncovers a clear love of metal, but of course very bastardised and bent- it’s basically a series chugging of rock/ metal riffs running blurring and distorting into each other though noisy it’s still a surprisingly musically touched opener. As the album progresses the improvised elements from California Ax pop up here and there, but in shorter more jarring and noisy pieces before jumping head long into noise roars, manic fall down the stairs percussive cut-up and searing feedback smarts. But the thing that keeps surfacing all the way through is how varied, concise and approachable the tracks are here- sure there still noisy and brutal but there traces of melodies,rhythm and really creative flare through-out. All making this the most approachable Sissy Spacek album thus far.

Like all of Sissy Spacek albums this functions best as a whole-a near on 40 minute sonic rollercoaster ride though a few stands out moments come in the form of; Flood with its landscape of feedback swipes and wraps, juddering stop/ start percussions and tight guitar strip picks all coming off like coarse, demented and slightly bloody cartoon music. Really into the haters that loops, layers and builds the sound of shovelling junk/ steel with rising mechanical background drone and junk yard percussions to build a hypnotic textural rewarding track that seems to completely surround you. Deep water with its sped and screwed up harmonic textures that feels like been throw one ball screwed musically snippets after another, but before you mind can un-screw them you’re thrown yet another one.

Though I enjoyed and treasure California Ax it’s a complex and challenging beast of a release which I’m still fully trying to get my head round. The French Record finds them distilling, polishing and defining their sound- it’s jarring, manic, playful and damn creative. One of the noise records of the year and a great starting point for those unaccustomed to both Sissy Spacek and the noise genre- really high end creative noise madness." - Roger Batty


"Featuring members including power electronics bête noires John Wiese and Kevin Drumm, since 1999 American noise upstarts Sissy Spacek have melded together the disparate worlds of grindcore and musique concrete to produce an cacophony of industrial landscapes. Sissy Spacek’s fifth studio album French Record opens with Scorpion Whip, a eighties heavy metal hommage deconstructed and defiled underneath layers of lo-fi dense hiss. Sounding much like the amplified destruction of a Napalm Death cassette in a faulty Datsun tape deck, Scorpion Whip sets the tone for the rest of the album by providing a punishing epiphany for one’s inner noisenik and metalhead alike. A series of brief vignettes follow, providing short bursts of harsh noise that although are on the verge of frightening manage to somehow hold themselves together. Tracks like Flood and Really Into The Haters expand upon this format with a detour into electro-acoustic and free jazz soundscapes, melding obliterating sonic frequencies with delicate dynamics and minimalist techniques. A contender for the soundtrack of any future nuclear apocalypse, French Record comes highly recommended for purveyors of aural submission – although possibly less so for Academy Award buffs." - Andrew Tuttle