Roberta Bondar Caustic
Published Jul 20, 2014Roberta Bondar's "steamy noise rock" fits in the same experimental alt-rock camp as artists like Naomi Punk and WTCHS. Their third EP is a lo-fi, analogue tape recording of ghostly vocals, offbeat drums and gradual changes in tempo. Their stream of consciousness approach, however, occasionally stirs some impatience, especially on the six-minute, trance-like title track.
The most interesting thing about Caustic is probably that it was recorded live at a church and a meat locker called Yogi's, but that may actually be at fault for the main issue plaguing the album. The looseness of the recording makes it seem low-effort. The doomsday riff leading into an organ outro, alongside the irregular guitar shred and drumming on "Palm Bay," creates one of the strongest segments on the EP, but even then, there's a lingering sense that things could be tighter.
"STD" and "Wet Eyes" are simultaneously the most structurally and melodically conventional and the most enjoyable, recalling a darker Breeders or Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The looseness works here, but elsewhere, Caustic feels like it would translate better live. (Bruised Tongue)