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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Big Sexy Noise

Collision Course/Trust the Witch

Review by Gary Hill

This is an interesting double disc set. One third of this band is Lydia Lunch, and anyone who knows anything about her will have an idea of what this is about. It’s part metal, part punk, part performance art and part Big Sexy Noise. The set her is a double disc release. The first disc of the set is a live one and the second a studio release. Personally, I think that while the live version has more of a raw energy, the studio disc is better. However you see the balance landing, though, this is interesting stuff and well worth giving a chance.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1: Collision Course: Live in Italy
Mahakali Calling
This thing powers in delightfully heavy. It’s raw and a great combination of punk rock, metal and even some art rock.  The closest thing here is stoner metal or doom metal, but there is a lot more than that on the table.
Cross the Line
There is definitely a lot of Black Sabbath built into this raw aggressive jam. The later sections aren’t that far removed from hardcore punk.
Ballin' the Jack
Imagine the Beatles’ “Come Together” with a really raw stoner metal sound and some punky vocals and different lyrics. You are pretty close to what this sounds like.
Your Love Don't Pay My Rent
This is another smoking hot metal meets punk jam. There are a couple spoken word section with Lunch talking to a couple guys in the audience. There is also a heavy space music segment to this beast.
Doughboy

There is a lot less metal in this. It’s got more of a straightforward rock vibe to it. Of course, it’s also punk rock as heck.

Self-Defence
Doom metal is the order of business as this beast opens. It’s got a cool riff driven groove. Imagine Electric Wizard with Lunch’s punk styled vocals.
Trust the Witch
A bit more stripped back, there is a little blues rock vibe and some psychedelia built into this one. It’s another strong cut. In fact, it might be my favorite on this first CD.
Collision Course
Here’s another very heavy and very raw tune. It’s probably more hardcore punk than metal, but that metal element surely exists.
Gospel Singer
A rubbery heavy groove is the order of business here. This is so low pitched and so cool.
Baby Faced Killer
Here’s another that’s less metal. It’s a killer hard rocker, though. It works quite well. In fact, it’s one of the most accessible pieces here. Of course, that said nothing here is mainstream pop-radio material.
Forever on the Run
The riff based jam that drives this feels so much like early Black Sabbath (and I’m talking the raw end of that sound) that it’s crazy. This is a real powerhouse tune that might be my favorite here. I will say that the “something witchy in the air tonight” part later in the piece stays around a bit too long for my taste.
Disc 2: Trust the Witch: Studio LP
Ballin' the Jack
While I liked the live version of this song, the studio version is so much more. It’s got saxophone and the whole arrangement lends a killer psychedelic element to it. It’s an awesome groove and one of the best pieces of the whole set. It might lose a bit of the heavy rawness, but the classy arrangement more than makes up for it.
Cross the Line
A driving cut, this is a killer punk turned psychedelic rocker tune. There are moments here that lean towards Hawkwind-like space rock to me.
Won't Leave You Alone
Very much a slow, bluesy rocker, this is awesome. It just oozes cool. There is saxophone on this cut, too. It lends another angle and layer of class. There are some powered up sections in this thing.
Mahakali Calling
This is very much a stoner metal tune, but with a bit more of a psychedelic vibe to it. I think this is pretty equivalent to the live version, despite some minor changes in the tone and arrangement.
Trust the Witch

I like this one much better than the live version. There’s just a lot of style and character to this thing. It is psychedelic and incredibly cool. It’s one of the best pieces of the whole set. There are definitely space rock elements later in this tune.

Devil's Working Overtime
A harder rocking, more straightforward tune, this one has some definite space rock in the mix, too.
Where You Gonna Run

There’s a lot more energy to this rocking groove, but it’s another that has a lot of space rock in the mix. It a fast paced cut that’s very effective.

Collision Course

I like this one a bit more than the live version of the song. It’s a good one.

Not Your Fault
Killer mid-tempo hard rock is the order of the business here. It’s got a lot of space rock and psychedelia, that’s for sure. I love the saxophone on this.
Forever on the Run

I love this rocker in either format, but I prefer this to the live version. It’s got an old school rock and roll groove to it and it is a killer cut. Also, while the closing section on the live version gets done for too long and it really hurts the piece, they use more moderation on this one. That’s a good thing.

 
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