New York City means many things to many people, but there’s one local music tradition that clearly holds a great deal of importance for South Brooklyn natives Chain Gang Grave: brutal noise rock. Despite the fresh paint job the city’s received over the past 25 years, ugliness and abuse still run deep in its musical DNA. The lineage that began with no-wave and that spawned the likes of Swans, Sonic Youth, Helmet, and Unsane remains strong.
You can hear its echo loud and clear on Bury Them And Keep Quiet. While Chain Gang Grave are perhaps not as visionary as the aforementioned acts, this sophomore EP absolutely seethes with the ragged, depraved energy that animated them. As you might expect from a younger band of this nature, Chain Gang Grave have absorbed ideas from extreme metal as well as from the DIY noise and punk realms. You can mostly hear this influence in guitarist Andrew Lanza’s mighty riffing, which heaves and lurches with an unpredictable dissonance that recalls certain strains of death metal as much as any “rock” mutation. But just as often, Chain Gang Grave’s rough-hewn rhythm section will drive the momentum to a clattery surf rock ramble, matched perfectly by vocalist Young Al Bundy(!)’s slapback ranting, as on “Who Taught You.”
There’s no real feeling of gear-shifting when these disparate approaches abut each other. The band’s parade of horrors is seamless, regardless of the nearest point of stylistic reference. Bury Them And Keep Quiet is a melting pot of antisocial tendencies — that’s another New York tradition Chain Gang Grave uphold with pride. Listen.
Bury Them And Keep Quiet will be available on 11/13 via the band.