Hair Police

Mercurial Rites

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Kentucky-based noise outfit Hair Police rank among the more intense acts in the American noise underground, as well as one of the longer-running ones. Since its 2001 inception, the trio has cultivated a sound somewhere between the angry energy of punk and the bleak dread of early industrial experimentation. Less mired in horror movie imagery or across-the-board darkness than contemporaries like Wolf Eyes or Prurient, Hair Police come from a place equally harrowing, looking inward to feelings of isolation and confusion to find their bevy of caustic sounds. Mercurial Rites finds the band at a creative peak, with blown-out industrial percussion, slithering tape manipulation, fuzzed-out electronics, and some of the most pained, subhuman vocal deliveries on record. The dungeon-like atmosphere of tracks like "The Crevice" is tempered with the woozy wayward synths of "Dusk Misplaced" and the sound poetry malfunctioning of the quieter but equally anguished "Scythed Wide." Easily some of the strongest work from a group pushing its craft further into realms more brutal and reaching than most have dared.

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