Review: Uraño – BARRAGE


What an opening riff. Like a degraded film loop of someone falling down a right-angled staircase, drums and bass stumble and slam into the wall on repeat, occasionally dragged into chaotic celluloid divergences, somehow returning to the main refrain each time. Where some groups affiliated with the “noise rock” banner come across like slightly overblown hardcore, Uraño drag the term back to its basic tenets (perhaps the additional qualifier in their “harsh noise rock” tag is intended as a differentiator). This is a rhythm section in service not of songs, but of the shunts and collisions of a fundamentally eruptive sort: falling over, fireworks indoors, factory machines forced into reverse, amplified modems chewing on themselves.

Obfuscated placement seems to be a key theme, which is apt for a record that regularly sheds all notion that it might be the product of just two people. Straight 4/4 is bypassed – instead we have frantic syncopations that can barely keep pace with themselves, while FX pedals bloat and blur the bass so that it comes from an illusory everywhere – not to mention the laser bloops that flit across the field and sabotage attempts to orientate oneself. The record progresses and cacophonous bewilderment persists: amplified drums stammer and stop on “Gox” like intermittent nightmare fits, with airhorn high-notes seeping into the percussive stops; on “Walking With Erik” snare trills spurt like a foot breaking through brittle slats on the waltz of a rickety bridge. These aren’t the emanations from an two-piece instrumental setup, but a catalogue of rhythmic calamities.

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