His Electro Blue Voice – Ruthless Sperm
Sub Pop Records
★★★★★ (out of 5 stars)
From the jump of this clenching debut, the terror-drenched noise-rock nightmare of this little-known Italian band goes for the neck. But it’s more than just a gang of thugs kicking you while you’re on the ground. Look past the shadowy, booted figures over you and you’ll see a buzzing sky swarming with other threats overhead – scary, but more than a little thrilling. Unlike other intense bands, however, HEBV’s range (punk, post-punk, shoegaze, goth, Krautrock) is surprising, as are their sometimes unconventional, multi-movement song structures. From spectacularly evil cuts like “Tumor” and “Death Climb” to cathartic deliverances like “Born Tired” and “Sea Bug,” Ruthless Sperm is one of the most eye-popping debuts in ages.