The third instalment of the Mutation tale and this is the most abrasive yet. We were introduced to Ginger’s darkest of projects a few years back with ‘The Frankenstein Effect’ and to be err… frank, that sounds almost anthemic compared to where we are at here. ‘Error 500’ paved the way with a more unrelenting momentum but the glorious bellowing of “Friday Night Drugs” is now replaced with the likes of super-acidic chants of, wait for it… “Fuck off you cunt, you are an irritant”.
Yep, we all have a list of people we’d like to dedicate that to.
As the title suggests, we’re in darker and heavier territory. A loose grindcore blueprint is all laced in sleep deprived paranoia and claustrophobic rhythms. This isn’t pretty, but we’re sure not afraid of ugly here at CB. And this is UGLY.
Mutation was always going to shift in direction, or if you will… mutate, over time; mainly due to the collaboration style writing and recording process. Over the year’s we’ve seen the likes of Mark E. Smith, Dom Lawson, Shane Embury and Rich Jones dipping their oar in. This release is slightly narrower in approach as it is mainly Ginger and Scott Lee Andrews (Exit International) with the ammunition in hand.
It’s very easy to treat releases like this as a Ginger and co./+another as the flame haired one is understandably the face of the project. Scott has tapped into the Mutation vibe here very easily however, and probably through experiencing their own personal dark times, they’ve joined forces to create a screenshot of pure unhinged madness.
This all makes for an album that flows within the same vein a little more than in the past. A comment that doesn’t point towards it being better or worse than previous outings; it’s just for info! And, one of Ginger’s recent trademarks of late helps it flow too… it’s all joined together with no gaps between tracks. Unless you’ve got one of those famous £10 Argos CD players.
This is a rickety rollercoaster ride of an album, that rarely stops for breath. There’s a repetitive and bludgeoning trend in the tracks but there are some real highlights in this distorted explosion…
‘Skint’ spells out a few common woes and sees Ginger at his rabid peak. The best Wildhearts songs were where Ginger went into overdrive; think ‘Moodswings…’ or ‘Caffeine Bomb’. There’s a corker of a tag line in there too “I’m skint, and I drink to forget”.
The aforementioned ‘Irritant’ is the most brutal of ear-worms while ‘Devolution’ is a brief but much asked for Ginger/Devin Townsend collaboration.
Album reviews usually follow a pattern of picking out the highlights and the contrasts of an album, but with ‘Dark Black’ you have a half hour of complete work. It’s a nightmare journey through Ginger and Scott’s demons, not to be put on shuffle or have tracks added to a playlist. Insert, press play and get sucked into this little piece of hell.