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June 22, 2024

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Failing Early, Failing Often (Slap A Ham)

By: Jeb Branin

One way to appreciate music is to understand the meter, or "time," it is performed in. For example, it might be "2/4 time," or "3/4 time" or "4/4 time." In the case of NOOTHGRUSH the music is performed in "geological time." That's right, this is the band whose riffs are so plodding that continental drift, by contrast, appears downright hasty. Calling this music "slow" is like calling The Beatles "moderately successful"-it's a definite understatement. "Failing Early, Failing Often" is a posthumous collection of many (most? all?) of the early recordings from these seminal and cranium-cracking lords of sludge. It includes songs from several comps, their Slap A Ham 7", their split with BLACK ARMY JACKET, and their "Kashyyyk" demo; which to this day remains one of my favorite slowcore releases ever and is still able to undermine the structural integrity of any building it is played in. Obviously influenced by bands like GRIEF, NOOTHGRUSH, however, remain an unmistakable and vital band whose audio carnage will be sorely missed (rumor has it the band was forced to disband by the government who was tired of getting seismic readings in the 6+ range every time NOOTHGRUSH played). In addition to all that, they are the only band I have had a conversation with that included the words "Chewbacca action-figure-holding bandolier."
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