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Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps
Release Date: August 26, 2016
Founded by Paul Lemos in 1978 Controlled Bleeding is a band that commands respect. With a near literal ton of releases, the band are probably best known to the masses as a pioneering industrial band, although they have never stuck exclusively to that style. In addition to a series of reissues, the band is also offering up a double-disc of all new material entitled Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps.
Every once in a while, an album comes along that is intensely hard to describe and this is certainly it. One moment it’s ambient and fluid and five minutes later it’s challenging every ideal you have about music. Disc 1’s 22:30 journey “The Perks of Being a Perv” is probably the best example of this. It flows in and out of heavy, industrial guitars to distant, pulsating, effects laden soloing. The last roughly one-third of the song is dissonant scaling to an oompa backdrop. On paper, nothing in this song should work but it’s the tune I find myself returning to over and over again.
“Carving Song” causes an excellent racket with squealing guitar work, a groovy drum beat, and a Jazz Fusion level middle finger to the mainstream. “Trawler’s Return” (Disc 1) and “Trawler’s Song” (Disc 2) are driven by the same catchy-as-hell bass riff and impossible not to dig into with both your head and your feet. It’s almost got a heavy jam band vibe. My favorite moment from them comes at the end of “Trawler’s Song.” About the last minute and a half of the song everything just goes crazy. It gets so groovy that you just get lost inside of it as the drums and guitar go insane together, totally setting you up for “Eye of the Needle’s” ambient comedown.
Controlled Bleeding pushes the boundaries between machine and live instrument brilliantly on Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps. It barely offers any vocal work but it seems to free the music up immensely. If you enjoy Coil, Swans, ISIS, Mental Destruction, Vernon Reid, Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music, or Ulver’s Industrial leaning albums then you need to check this out. It’s quicker-paced than almost any of those artists/albums but it’s every bit as experimental. Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps isn’t afraid to go anywhere, fully embracing whatever it can, whenever it can.
Reviewed by mark1340