Dutch trio The Sweet Release Of Death unleash Smutek, a shell-shocking cyclone of pure, insidious noise rock dread.
Beneath all their apparent doom and gloom, The Sweet Release Of Death have a bookishness to their music that’s unique to them. They’re a band fully aware of that tenuous boundary between the crude, twisted and earnest feelings. But instead of treading that line rationally, The Sweet Release Of Death violently smudge it to see how all the different colors mesh. Their frantic noise rock actively implores dark and wretched states, but nevertheless recalls the quaint image of someone writing a piece of beautiful thespian art… In his or her own blood, that is.
Smutek (listen above) is the first cut released off the Rotterdam-based trio’s upcoming self-titled sophomore album. A ferocious track to say the least, one that reconciles frenetic emotional onslaught with crisp, glistened-up sound textures. Smutek (which is the Polish word for ‘sadness’) starts with a glitchy drone that throbs like a pinched nerve. Then, Martijn Tevel’s anxious guitar playing strikes the eardrums like Walking Dead-antagonist Negan’s barbed-wired baseball bat: just imagining the full impact of it makes you squirm.
The song transpires like a cyclone of pure insidious noise rock dread. Alicia Breton Ferrer’s faux saccharine delivery skips neurotically between passive aggressive, anguished and deranged states. Her nimble bass playing serves as the stable counterpoint, forming a tight alliance with Sven Engelsman’s razor-sharp drums. Tevel hovers above the whole thing like some ginormous thundercloud on the cusp of raining down its torrential wrath.
It’s a malleable dynamic that works brilliantly – especially live – because no one in the band invades another’s space. If anything, Smutek validates The Sweet Release Of Death as spiritual heirs to Liars, Sonic Youth and Slowdive.