If math rock is about writing rock music that screws with the genre’s typical conventions, TERMS’ debut EP Hoarder of Operations is a blindingly shining example. While I don’t know if the dudes in TERMS, an internet collaboration between guitarist Christopher Trull (Grand Ulena, Yowie) and drummer Danny Piechocki (Jitters), are particularly bothered about labelling themselves math, Hoarder of Operations plays out like a crazed vision of rock being torn apart and reassembled into a new, furiously chaotic and unrelentingly discordant beast.
The EP constantly treads the line between order and disorder, occasionally wobbling (or lurching, at times) in one direction or the other. In the opening sections of ‘Who will save the world from art?’, for example, a tight, steady groove, guitars and drums interlocked, collapses, in an instant, to a staggering, skittering, wonky assemblage of bits of song; perhaps like what you might expect to find on the pavement if guitar-music, as a concept, was runover by a small truck. It’s notable too, how uninterruptedly enrapturing these tracks are: even at their loosest and most deconstructed, they retain a passive, virile momentum, and there are points that begin to feel almost psychedelic, where Trull’s repetitive, mystically atonal guitar lines mesh with the frenzied, syncopated grooving of Piechocki’s drum work. I’m tempted to describe ‘Hoarder of operations’ as nightmarish but it needs to be made clear that wouldn’t be meant in the sense that the EP is something unpleasant or to be avoided; more, it’s nightmarish in the sense you might feel were you deeply entranced in some murky, pagan ritual, vibing along to a druid reciting some really bopping rites – or in the sense of the feeling we all had watching the world’s most powerful idiot advocate bleach as a cure for covid-19, in the split second where it was dark but enjoyably amusing, before we realised the implications it was going to have for disinfectant-related death figures.
Hoarder of Operations releases on Bandcamp on SKiN GRAFT Records today.
On this day, the 1st of May 2020 (and also the 5th of June / 3rd of July), Bandcamp will be waiving the usual cut they take from sales on the site, to help support artists struggling to make money during the coronavirus lockdown period. Recognising this, SKiN GRAFT are also releasing, on the 1st May, a surprise album by Tijuana Hercules (ex-Mount Shasta), an archival digital reissue of Dazzling Killmen’s 1993 single and comic book set (with an optional mail-order magnet!!!) and will have their ‘Now Wave’ compilation (Which collects rare and exclusive tracks from, among others, Dazzling Killmen, Cheer-Accident and U.S. Maple) set to ‘pay what you want’. This is an excellent opportunity to support the artists you, the reader, love.