This is the aural equivalent of Charles Bukowski (not, interestingly, the German classical he used to write about); I initally thought that Eyehategod was, and, though Hank did live in New Orleans briefly, he is most associated with southern California, and San Francisco– so the bay area’s Noothgrush I’m christening The Aural Bukowski.
Why? They’re decrepit, low-budget, oily probably-reeks-of-beer-sweat despondent riffmeisters. Much like Bukowski’s poems.
Noothgrush (the name from, of course, the Dr. Seuss classic There’s a Wocket in My Pocket! and is it sad that I immediately knew that?) play proto-ancestral sludge; they had broken up before sludge fully emerged as its own form and there grew up tropes around it.
Live for Nothing (on Southern Lord) is two live radio broadcasts from KZSU (in 1996), the other from KFJC (in 1999).
I’d never heard Noothgrush until the recently-released Power of the Riff festival soundtrack, on which ‘Grush had one track, “Oil Removed”– and then I was ashamed of never having heard them.
Live for Nothing is similar, production-wise, to Seven Foot Spleen– a higher-gain, thrashier (though detuned) guitar tone; nowadays there’s generally less overt gain, and a blurrier tone being used in sludge and doom metal, and this sound is a nice throwback.
Noothgrush are angry, lurching, plodding drunken stumbling punked-out sludge. The best way to describe them, nay, inculcate them to your ears is here:
There’s a break at 2:30 of “Jundland Wastes”; everything slows down… and eventually a riff emerges that is just… Fugly.
Actually, that’s a great album title: Just Fugly Riffs. I would buy that, unheard.
You’re reading this site, so you know, even if unconsciously, what a fugly riff sounds like– indescribable, indefinable, but instantly recognizable.
Like judicial perceptions of pornography.
Noothgrush hit that special spot… deep in your guts, like porn hits your tender, sensitive loins. You may actually riffjaculate during your experiences with Live for Nothing.
Your milage may vary, however. I’m not promising anything. Just sayin’.