Merzbow, Mats Gustafsson, Balázs Pándi, Thurston Moore: Cuts Of Guilt

As uncompromising and experimental as you’d expect.

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When you make a point of exploring the outer limits of rock’n’roll, there are moments when you are compelled to acknowledge that what you are really listening to is a bunch of grown men making a horrible din.

But while deliberately exposing oneself to the sound of Mats Gustafsson blowing his saxophone so hard it’s a miracle he doesn’t have a rectal prolapse, might seem ludicrous at first, the often overwhelming power of noise continues to draw in a small but dedicated audience. The main reason for this, and for Cuts Of Guilt’s ability to sustain interest throughout is that such sonic chaos perennially teeters on the line between idiotic cacophony and mesmerising inspiration. Merzbow’s solo work is often impenetrable. But here he sounds liberated by the lateral improvisational arcs pursued by his collaborators. Sonic Youth man Thurston Moore’s feedback and dissonance almost echo the noise legend’s coruscating squall, and Balázs Pándi’s linear rhythms keep everything within sanity’s grasp. Not for the faint-hearted, of course, but no less engaging for that.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.