The only reason Giant Gutter indulge in the “pretty” (i.e. the opening moments of “Sturm” which glisten like wind chimes catching the light) is to prove how quickly things can go terribly wrong. Within a matter of seconds, the track ruptures like an earthquake: the bass shifts from delicate pinch harmonics to convulsions of jammed mechanics, while the idle drums leap into action and try to kick the blockage out of the way. The track becomes an alternation between swooping groove – chicaning between swung beats and descending bass riffs – and abrupt slams of syncopation, where the momentum stalls in fits of repetition and dissonance. Seven minutes passes quickly, but not without the whiplash to show for it.
Track two is a similar deal, albeit with the recuperative pauses replaced with passages of lumbering, bleeding fatigue; moments where the tempo slumps to a crawl and low frequencies gush out of the wound. Every time the duo recover, they appear more restless and frantic than before – the drums roll like the precursory rubble of an imminent avalanche, while the bass bleats and rambles in a tirade of unintelligible warning. It’s a fierce and surprisingly thorough 16 minutes of music.