Femur Is Going To Leave Red Marks All Over You
Come and get yourself a heaping serving of some sludgy hardcore that is weird, abrasive and chaotic.
One of the great joys of post-list season is dusting yourself off and getting a handle on what came out in December. This is also known as “bands who could give two shits about making it on someone’s beloved AOTY list”. Canada’s Femur is such a band and they’ve got this particular writer pretty jazzed about what they are offering up on their debut album that is almost two months old at the time of this writing. The reason for the enthusiasm here is because they are repping a heavy Gaza influence. To be more clear, if you are a fan of Gaza’s debut album, I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die, you are gonna be hyped for this as well. That album holds a special place in my heart because it was grower of an album for me. There was a lot to digest with that album and once I got intimately familiar with it, I couldn’t get enough of its mashing of hardcore, sludge and doom that delivered many an unsettling moment sonically. And while you may catch shades of that album here and there from an album every so often, it hasn’t really manifested anywhere in the form where you can draw distinct influence from IDCWIGWID.
Part of the charm of this album is that you might have a hard time listening to it while simultaneously enjoying the ever loving shit out it. This is because Femur changes course quite often and seemingly without notice. They’ll introduce a crazy riff and build it up only to have it taken back and returned more deformed than the state it was previously presented in. It’s hard to keep track of all the starts and stops then trying to think along with the band and try to predict where they’ll land next. Femur’s method of piling on the crazy will have you wanting to go back and see if you can follow it again. Don’t try this at home kids because you are not likely to achieve this unique desired result if you are to attempt the feat.
There is no shortage engaging moments on Red Marks. The opening riff of the title track will have your attention because it is odd. Getting hung by a bungee chord is a best guess estimate of what this riff compares to. The songs starts and ends with the opening riff while everything in between takes you on a winding path of discordant sludge and chaotic grinding mayhem. Immolation fans might appreciate the sludgy creeper riff that is nested towards the end of “Locus of Control”. And everything that leads up to it is loaded with twists and turns anchored by dissonant guitar chord phrasing that range from straight up weird to freaking out. “Knife Fight In A Basement” is the first of the more up tempo numbers that meshes blast beats and choppy rhythms with more of those funky guitar chords you’ve been treated to thus far. The pattern of wild riffing and odd turns continues for two more tracks and leaves the listener disoriented yet entertained. At last you catch a breather with the mellowed out “Welcome Wind” so you can dust yourself off and prepare to go cray cray again.
The last thee songs on the album pick up where “Sex In Millimeters” left off yet manage to take yet another odd turn and not musically, but sonically. “Tourniquet” goes off the rails in a hurry after starting off with some crusty power chord-driven riffing that would feel right at home on a Cursed record. The middle section has another one of those winding sludge riffs from the beyond that whirls and churns as it induces vertigo upon you. Now the odd turn comes in the middle of “Enemy Number One” where the guitar tone inexplicably switches from the tone you’ve been hearing the entire album to HM-2 buzzsaw and continues through the end of the record. Considering the Femur has been floating trial balloons with you the entire record, you barely notice the line stepping because you can’t remember what happened three minutes ago.
So in summation, this album is crazier than Lil’ Wayne on a cough syrup bender. It’s more volatile than a rage tweeting Piss Flamingo prez who is under multiple investigations for being an irredeemable trash human. It’s more confusing than trying to order fries at Taco Bell and continuing to try and do so after being told repeatedly that fries are not served there. (Florida,nuff said). After listening to Femur, you may smell something foul about you. Get used to it because the stench ain’t coming off easily. For this effort, Red Marks gets 4 out of 5 Flaming Toilets Ov Hell.