Burmese/Fistula Split

From opposite sides of the country come two noise merchants intent on leaving their scarred-earth mark upon humanity. San Francisco’s Burmese occupy that oft-misunderstood subgenre of power electronics, and their particular slant toes the line between true musicality and indiscriminate noise. Cuts like "Your End,” "Typical Woman Behavior,” "I’m In Heaven,” and "Into It” mix eardrum-piercing feedback and throbbing industrial dregs like Masonna or Namanax. Yet "Millions Of Ways To Die” and "Pay Me In Pain” sound like Melvins covered by Merzbow, and even "You Feel Good To Me” and "White Suicide” could be the Jesus Lizard filtered through Hijokaiden. Conversely, Ohio’s Fistula pursue the mud-caked crown forged by Eyehategod and Grief. Featuring members of the like-minded Rue, the band offers four tracks that are thankfully sludgier than their club-footed appearance on Shifty’s Crushers Killers Destroyers II compilation. "Green Lung” juxtaposes the bone-shaking dissonance of Harvey Milk with a looped coughing fit reminiscent of Black Sabbath’s "Sweet Leaf” intro. "Powers That Be” resembles late-career Grief, while "The Basilisk” adds a dash of Southern groove like Hawg Jaw. "Caterpillar” roars into Kyuss territory, tears up the landscape with monster-truck treads, then plunges back into Grief-laden swamplands. Whatever your vice is, Burmese and Fistula offer quite the argosy of aural annihilation. (Crucial Blast)