Stuntcock might be the best name for a Theremin playing noise mentallist ever. In fact it definitely is. It is also an appropriate name, because you can be in little doubt about what exactly you are about to listen to. Stuntcock : Does what it says on the tin.
I find it quite difficult to review the first part of this EP (the Stuntcock part) because it is pure noise featuring a heavily processed Theremin, laptop and only the occasional beep or discernible synth which is swiftly obliterated under fear inducing slabs of feedback. I like noise but it is hard to say anything quantifiable or useful about it. It offers a deceptively blank canvas for people to work on as noise can take virtually any form, but it can difficult to make “good” noise. It should have no real tempo or melody or percussion but it should still be listenable and have its own identity. I presume that there are people who obsess about noise records and play them all the time, but that’s not something I could do. I like to use noise as a kind of aural palate cleanser. It removes all the accumulated bits of music that wash round your head, all the little bits that you whistle or hum or beatbox while you’re wandering round. It’s like putting your brain in a washing machine, leaving it fresh and clean so that that anything you hear afterwards sounds like heaven in a can. Or something.
The eight songs that comprise the Stuntcock part of this EP include bass distortion which progresses to feedback so shrill it makes your eyes twitch (“When I heard you were dying….”), B movie histrionics (“Duet For Theremin and Nightmare”) and the hospitalised near-ambience of “Another 1,000 Ways Of Saying…”). The EP moves from high aggression to melodic and engaging (“Who The Fuck Is Paul Catten, Anyway?”). This final track has a discernible piano melody on it, which is quite similar to the last section of “The Last Human Being…” on the debut Sontaran Experiment album. The only fault I can find is that the production is a bit thin compared to the full sound on “The Sontaran Experiment”. Anyway, this brings me nicely round to…
The Sontaran Experiment had their debut album released last year on Undergroove. It was reviewed here on Sitting Now if you want a full rundown, but it was great. Doom rock with feedback, screaming and occasional bursts of Napalm Death style madness. The last track on the EP “The Subconscious Memory” would fit in on the album without a hitch. It follows exactly the same template and is also hugely long, clocking in at 17 odd minutes unlike some epic tunes though it doesn’t drag. The feedback sections are measured, the doom sections are well orchestrated to keep interest and it’s all put together in a most pleasing fashion. I am not an expert on Doom by any means, but I do like The Sontaran Experiment a great deal and I am quite excited at the prospect of the forthcoming “Bedwetter” EP. Catten / Stuntcock has not let a lot slip but he has promised a change of direction with new shorter songs. Whether they can keep their identity as The Sontaran Experiment with such a radical reduction in song length waits to be seen, but from the band voted “Most exciting new act” in none other than Terrorizer magazine, it should be a pleasant surprise indeed.
Daddytank can be heard on the SittingNow podcast, as well as BehindClosedDoors