While medical experts continue searching for a miracle cure for migraine, we can add another item to the list of possible causes, alongside intense light and stress: Castrovalva’s debut album “We Are a Unit”. The Leeds threesome play a kind of noise-core that tries to be funny but in fact comes across loutish and crass. Opener “We Are a Unit (Intro)” succinctly summarises the woes weighing this record down: A meaty, distorted bass combines with Daniel Brader’s drumming to initially great effect, but as soon as the vocals come in you can feel the red mist descending – a dreadful whining rings out where a powerful growl would have been appropriate. On the rest of the album, there is some more high-pitched yodelling, a bit of mock-hardcore screaming and annoying spelling in the song titles (“Hooliganz”). There are echoes of Lightning Bolt in the riffage and the (admittedly pretty good) drumming, but the main asset is the merciful overall length of 28 minutes.

By Matthias Scherer

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