Six Sik Sisters

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The latest album by arty noise-hardcore assault team Racebannon is aggressive, shifting back and forth between Converge-style scream-and-bash (the disc was produced by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou, and has the roomy, organic punk-metal throb he specializes in) and Melvins-esque half-speed misanthropy. Vocalist Mike Anderson has a sneering edge to his voice that comes through even when he's howling or barking, as he frequently is here. His voice is alienating, keeping the listener at a mental/emotional distance, even though the band's lurches from slow to fast tempos can be mesmerizing. There are some killer moments here, though, like "Thee Solo," which in keeping with its title, centers around a crushing, almost Dale Crover-esque drum solo, and the astonishingly catchy melody of the next track, "Thee Challenge." Six Sik Sisters may only be 25 minutes long (more like 20, really: the final track, "Thee End," is a looping percussion-and-samples instrumental), but so much quality music is packed into that span of time that it feels perfect, not only complete, but utterly self-contained.

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