by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Black Norse and Big Mess are like seeing a comet (heading toward Earth for total cosmic destruction). You never know when you might get a glimpse, but when it happens... brace yourself. After a couple years of relative silence from the New Hampshire and Lowell, MA bands (respectively), they have returned together on a split cassette due out May 20th via Salty Speakers. The story goes (according to their Soundcloud), "Black Norse & Big Mess met years ago, fell in love, and talked about touring Japan together. Nick of Big Mess moved to France and Black Norse took a hiatus to focus on their other musical project. Everyone is home now and we made this tape to celebrate."
While both bands are heavy in their own distinction, Black Norse's sound takes a cue from the psych and doom of early Black Sabbath records to the modern sludge pop of bands like Torche, offering something that rips with catchiness. "Akiko" is a crushing track, a slow burner that roars up with the type of short song structure that Robert Pollard would be proud of... before quickly slamming itself into the ground over a destructive conclusion and the noisy aftermath left in its wake
Big Mess are titans of slow lumbering instrumental rock. To call their music post-rock would probably give the wrong expression, though the trio do work winding movements into their chaos, it's reigned into concise songs, head-splitting riffs, and a continuously pounding rhythm section. There's nothing serene or sprawling about "Song For Bella (The Horse)," the song winds up over skittering guitars and dense drum before taking a tail spin into an immersive dirge of doom and gloom. Hypnotic and intricate, Big Mess sound as enormous as ever on the corrosive single.
The band's will celebrate the release with three special release shows (including the new full band Black Norse line-up):
05/19 - Manchester, NH @ Fuzz Hut in Manchester NH
05/20 - Lowell, MA @ UnchARTed
05/21 - Dover, NH @ The Dover Brickhouse