Kicking up sonic dust along the streets of St Petersburg, Arthouse Hours may be expressing something entirely irrelevant to the state of their nation, but the oddness and lurking menace that typifies Russian reinterpretations of western music is here in abundance.
This is ugly and discordant art rock, delivered amid a fog of distortion, disorientating hiss and clattering drums. Vocals fester and murmur beneath the swirling surface and the churning rhythms owe plenty to the dark side of left-field and avowedly extreme hardcore punk.
Aptly-named Heavily Assaulted kicks things off with a sustained barrage of hazy threats and swarming riffs, My Bloody Valentine re-imagined by the devil on Rose West’s shoulder, while the muggy cacophony of closer One’s Quitting eerily evokes the unhinged spectre of anarcho-punk legends Rudimentary Peni.
In between, this shadowy trio bring to mind everything from King Crimson to Converge, their lack of interest in anything as sappy as a straightforward melody writ large across every lurching groove and feverish plectrum scrape. Compelling, and not for the faint-hearted.