Record Reviews

They Look Alike/Mainly Around the Head

It’s easy to call bullshit on fanatics who, desperate to apply logic to noise music, insist that producing cancerous swathes of white noise is ?harder than it sounds?. But where Prehistoric Fuckin Moron is concerned it’s probably true. This Sydney-based artist used to be a regular at old Sydney haunt Yvonne Ruve, and his music isn’t a far cry from that of fellow YR mainstays Castings, at least in spirit. Here’s a noisemaker who never resorts to aural violence or blatant machismo, but instead channels disquiet and disorientation through the limited means available.

There’s a sense of narrative here that disposes of the long exploited ?soft/loud/louder? (or ?loud/louder/fucking-louder?) dynamic of most by-the-numbers noise. Prehistoric Fuckin Moron use turntables, guitar feedback, synth and (scarce) drums: not a new noise arsenal, but it’s put to innovative use here. Imagine a vast echoing bunker of turntables, with each turning record successively torched and left to melt, and you’re close to the mark. The brazenly destroyed source material shifts in and out of focus, dispatching tiny moments of recognisable instrumentation and song. These moments, buried among hiss and sharp feedback, sound as if they were rescued from some ransacked depository of popular culture ephemera and subsequently defiled, probably for crimes against taste.

But while trawling the depths of z-grade culture is itself something of a noise cliche, here it’s psychedelic and transportive. Prehistoric Fuckin Moron sounds like snatches of barely registered peripheral input – television from another room, the music from passing cars – congealing into a frightening mass; incidentals ganging up to finally assert themselves. It’s legitimately weird and demanding of a double take – an aural landscape that crosswires emotion and memory. Don’t let the name get in the way though, because Prehistoric Fuckin Moron is worth taking seriously.