Since their formation in 2006, Manchester-based musical collective GNOD have traversed the drone, experimental and psychedelic noise spheres, releasing a dizzying number of albums whilst also seeing more than 40 different players pass through their lineup. They’re also something of an anti-industry band with focused political views as the title of their 2017 album ‘Just Say No To The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine’ clearly shows.
This latest album on Berlin label Sound Of Cobra ‘R&D Vol. 3’ comes attributed to the collective’s GNOD R&D alter ego, a more stripped down incarnation that in this case consists of co-founders Paddy Shine and Chris Haslam. Recorded live in collaboration with Italian band OvO while the two bands were touring together in northern Italy during 2017, the four expansive tracks that comprise this album (each taking up a single vinyl side) see the respective players taking a deep dive out into cavernous depths.
‘RA’ opens with flickering synthetic sequences drifting out against a yawning background void of echoing jagged guitar noise and airy vocal drones, before the emergence of eerie mechanical tones that sound like bubbling pipes and wordless moans signals a turn into harsher industrial textures that sees processed yells reaching a crescendo against a blistering wall of mangled metallic percussion.
By contrast, ‘RB’ treads gently at first as a slow synthetic bass pulse throbs rhythmically against looped found sounds and clattering live percussion, the entire track gradually building up into a fluid krautrock groove that recalls La Dussedorf, particularly as the yelled vocal hooks begin to devolve into a stream of conscious flow, becoming alternately more menacing and lulling in line with the vast wall of background textures that surge beneath them.
Elsewhere, ‘DO’ emerges from eerie bowed-instrument drones, chanted background vocals and jarring flashes of electronic noise into an almost monastic wander through wordless yells and monolithic background drones, the entire track eventually coming to a standstill with a mass that feels positively glacial. Alternately majestic and impenetrable, ‘R&D Vol. 3’ is not for the fainthearted.