CONFUSE – Spending Loud Night

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“Spending Loud Night” is to Japanese noise-core what “The Medium Was Tedium” is to UK DIY or “Agitated” is to US punk. What places this record at the top of the Japanese noise-core list is metaphysics, pure and simple. Also, like “Agitated,” this record was released some time after it was recorded: four years later, in ‘87. One is tempted to argue that the world was not yet ready for such unholy screech as is contained herein back in the easy-going days of ‘83, but, alas, one doubts the world could’ve been any more ready in ‘87, either. (Also, one is not entirely convinced that some remixing did not occur between ’83 and ’87 to improve the sound.) It is known for certain that Chaos UK and Disorder were Confuse’s primary influences, but the bolt of feedback that sets off this attack also sets it a notch or thirty above the barmy UK noisemakers of yore. The components of this noise sound more like the effects machines used in old movies about space aliens. They rev up, flutter around, and zoom to warp speeds. As would become the trademark of the Fukuoka (Kyushu) noise-core sound, it is the bass which produces the melody. Nary a discernable riff is to be heard emanating from the geetar. Solos come in when one expects them, and they’re quite crude, though novel in their apparent desire to push the limits of the noise a guitar can make. Vocals pan from one side to the other and seem to be mostly desperate screams like “Argh” and “Ugh,” certainly rarely matching up with the lyrics printed. At times, the drums, which approximate falling sheet metal, seem to pan willy-nilly as well. What’s so remarkable about this record is that each song has unique production values. They are all blindingly noisy, but as Kazimir Malevich never painted a simple black square that could be mechanically reproduced, Confuse layer their tunes with subtle and endearing qualities. For example, there is an extra, rumbling drum track that appears out of nowhere late in “Absolute Power of Armaments Old Man.” And, indeed, in the title track, which comes last on the record, and which is the truffle shaved onto the top of the soufflé, the noise is layered complexly, as if it were some sort of deranged symphony. “Hate War” is the fastest tune—actually, for ‘83 it’s remarkably fast. On the “Nuclear Addicts” flexi, it’s called “Hate (Is It War?),” but this, the earlier version, is superior. Incidentally, though “Nuclear Addicts” has the sleeve that launched a million myspace profiles, “Spending Loud Night” is clearly one of the finest punk catch phrases ever penned, and another reason why this EP is my favorite Confuse record. Regarding “Merciless Game,” the lyrics include the please-carve-this-into-my-tombstone line “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.”


Alsolute Power Of Armaments Old Man
Hate War
Mercilless Game
Spending Loud Night