Imagine if you poured a formidable pile of computer hardware into a massive blender and played Converge’s Jane Doe while the blades spun around and around and you might be getting close to the sound of the new album from Richmond’s .gif from god, called approximation_of_a_human and out in full on September 27 via Prosthetic Records. (Zegema Beach Records also have tapes of the record available.) Overall, it’s the sound of destruction — but not just any old destruction. It’s a sense of self getting ripped apart and put back together again over and over through the brute force of the dual industrial and technological onslaughts that define so much of “modernity,” rolling in like deadly tidal waves. The sound of this album quickly proves thoroughly disorienting and thoroughly exhilarating.
It seems quite difficult while listening to this record to manage any semblance of staying still, even if the music’s energy just courses through your psyche. approximation_of_a_human is not exactly a casual listen. After the glitched out atmospheric intro track, .gif dive right into maniacal grind and essentially do not let up for the entire duration of their new album. The release does include plenty of dynamics, as the band build up the music over and over again just to shred those semblances of stability apart with a musical chainsaw in the time it takes to blink. And for all the talk of crushing grind, the band even wheel out some tantalizingly catchy guitar lines at times to the point where you can almost “dance” or at least get a “jam” sense in the midst of this hurricane. Still — never once does this band truly let up with their energy, which continues unabated, only growing as the new album proceeds.
On a bit more of a practical level, the band seem to be funneling some of the raw, caustic, viciousness of screamo’s amped up punk ideas through some of the in-your-face energy frameworks of hardcore, and the combo — which has a lot more to it — lands very well and memorably, along the lines of other luminary metallic hardcore or whatever you want to call it that’s out there. Thinking of the album as knocking out some kind of crater in the earth wouldn’t be off point, and the great part is, we get to go along for the ride.
Dive in to some below. There’s a full album stream available ahead of release at Mathcore Index, and you can get your hands on a tape from Zegema Beach Records at this link if you’re in the U.S. and at this one if you’re not.