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"Duchesses -- ESTUPET [Apop Records]
Four young women simultaneously channeling the spirit of the early World Serpent releases and no-wave kick up a hypnotic racket on this disc, burning through twelve tracks in approximately 31 minutes. Dominated by endlessly circling drums, churning guitars with a sound like poison gas, mutant basslines, and vocalist Amber Alert! yowling like a cheerleader on a bad mix of speed and acid, the first half of the album sounds like it was recorded at the bottom of a well -- it's all chaos and madness soaked in diseased reverb, bathed in noise and swaddled in sick frequencies. This is seriously one of the strangest-sounding albums I've ever heard, with EQ-diddling and mutant efx dialed to such extremes as to create the sound of a band performance being transmitted from a different universe. (Bobb Bruno of Goliath Bird Eater mastered the album and Weasel Walter mastered it, which probably explains a lot about the deliberately fucked-up sound.) Arab on Radar would have been pleased to make an album that sounded this sick. The second half of the album consists of several remixes by Weasel Walter, Sunshine Militant Childrens Hour, Ops Spirits, Qulfus, and Blanketship, and those remixes just take the whacked-out songs to another level of adulterated sonic blasphemy. Black metal's answer to the Scissor Girls? Well, something like that, anyway. It'll definitely fuck with your inner ear, that's for sure.
- http://theonetruedeadangel. blogspot. com/
"Duchesses are a Seattle (not from Seattle - ed.) based all female four-piece grinding out a distressing psyche-infused aggregate of post-punk, grind and skree. Living true to the stripped down, garage-rock aesthetic, the band make a racket like early Liars meets Skullflower after a crafty spot of acid-dropping. Tracks like ‘The Virgin Monkey’ and ‘’The Fox Hunt’ take the melodic skeleton of garage-rock and the aggressive snarl of punk and totally spiral it out of control with warping effects and destructo-skree. There are thankfully, remnants of melody snaking through many of the tracks which adds an addictive bounce to the already boisterous dynamic.
Key to the success of ‘Estupet’ is its variety. Tracks like ‘The Lazer Poney’ actually resemble conventional ‘song’ but one that is in the process of being melted down whilst still alive. The atmospheric doom-laden majesty of ‘The Pit Bulimia’ adds a welcome level of depth and variety to the soundscape, its snarling out-of-control death-punk riding upon an emotionally-tinged wave. ‘The Laughing Faina/Wacko Jackal’ is the sound of the four-piece having total fun, commencing with an addictive tribal bounce of whirring, resonant bass and clusterised military drumming that goes into complete melt-down before the warp’n’skree take over to create a unique soundscape of airplane-psyche. Totally siiiick. Mixed by Bobb Bruno (Polar Goldie Cats, Goliath Bird Eater), and edited and mastered by Weasel Walter (Flying Lutenbachers, Lair of the Minotaur, Lake of Dracula), the albums second half is made up of remixes by Weasel Walter, Sunshine Militant Childrens Hour, Ops Spirits, Qulfus, and Blanketship, artists who take the Duchesses sound and total freak out already freaky material (e.g. Weasal Walters epic spazz-jazz remix of ‘The Fox Hunt’), or indulge in a spot of impudent psych (e.g. Qulfus’ remix of ‘Pit Bulimia’).
With their youthful energy, reckless abandon and rocking songs, Duchesses are a band that can so easily be adopted by the trendfucker society so grab hold of this sound now before you hear about them on Pitchfork.
For fans of: Necronomitron, Teen Cthulhu, Nunslaughter, Load Records"
-www. experimusic. com
From Seattle's Stranger: Duchesses are truly postpunk; they quite literally employ and embody an ethos that punk is for children, and Duchesses are most certainly grown-ass women. While generally/ostensibly/aesthetically they label themselves as a black-metal band, they are most accurately a part of the current forest of bands that have moved beyond the lines of the most extreme metal and reintegrated with other strains of rock DNA. At times, they recall the roiling foghorn drama of Thrones, the proactive spaz ostinatos of Lightning Bolt, and, yes, the Goblinesque vocals of Death. They are, as their name suggests, regal yet debauched rulers of modern West Coast heavy music. SAM MICKENS