September is always the month where all the albums land at once. Traditionally, it’s the period following the festival season, and releasing albums in September and touring September to November is the done thing. This year, it’s a bit different: there was no festival season, there are no tours, and new releases have been arriving out of nowhere online since the conventional distribution and promotional channels have been unavailable. But in terms of here being a deluge of September releases, it’s business as usual, only more so now things are moving a little more freely again.
The pitch for KLÄMP is a strong one: ‘Featuring current and ex-members of SEX SWING, MANATEES, MUGSTAR and PULLED APART BY HORSES - KLÄMP combine elements of snarling post-punk, hypnotic kraut-rock and thunderous doom. As a result, HATE YOU is a strange cacophony. The album owes as much to the cynical, abrasive punk of luminaries WIRE and PIL, as it does to heavyweights like BLACK SABBATH and IRON MONKEY.’
The album was recorded in March 2020 in London ‘as the world went on lock down with Covid19. Capturing the palpable tension in the air, Hate You would make a fitting soundtrack to the apocalypse.’
Everything is the soundtrack to the apocalypse right now – probably because if I’m listening to it now, it’s the soundtrack to the now, and the now is the apocalypse. It’s not even purely about the virus anymore: everything is fucked. Jobs are fucked, gigs and music are fucked, offices are fucked, the high street and the economy are fucked, Brexit is fucked, and all of this before we look overseas and see the US, mainland Europe, China, Russia… yeah, it’s all fucked.
KLÄMP bring the party tunes to help us forget about it all. Kinda. More accurately, with ‘Hate You’, they bring enough din to drown it all out for a bit.
It’s all going on with the title track: it may be under two minutes long, but it’s got the grunge blast of PABH, but the free jazz sax weirdness of former Leeds luminaries These Monsters. And yes, it’s a total beast.
‘Arise’ is intense, and hits like a punch in the throat. It’s built on a repetitive, cyclical guitar riff that blurs with distortion and fury, while the snarling, sneering vocals are reminiscent of John Lydon, justifying the press release’s PIL comparison – but this punked up, amped up, and plain brutal, it’s contemporaries Uniform I’m most reminded of here.
Single release ‘An Orb’ brings a heavy psychedelic slant to a song that’ centred around a descending chord sequence that’s partly a lift of ‘I Wanna be Your Dog’, but delivered with the sneer of The Fall and the outright wonky racketacious mess of Truman’s Water.
The screaming, scrawling, guitars scrape and slide every which way with swagger and menace through shrieks of feedback and a general cacophony of noise over the album’s brief but jarring duration, and if ‘Big Bad Heart’ pounds fast and hard, the last two tracks, stretching past the six-minute mark, combine sludgy noise with crazed brass to dizzying effect.
‘Hate You’ is the sonic equivalent of packing a three-day bender into 28 minutes. It’s heavy, it’s wild, and it’s a belter.