Bug Chaser's Self-Titled LP is a Multi-Directional Sonic Assault

Bug Chaser Bug Chaser bugchaser.bandcamp.com

After a few years' worth of EPs, demos and splits, the many-headed beast known as Bug Chaser released its first formal LP in November. The collection, available digitally, recently saw its release on vinyl, and that's a nice bit of formality for a band built around noisy, entrancing malleability.

On stage, Bug Chaser veers toward spectacle, often swelling beyond the eight members listed on this collection (and that's not including the BDSM specialist they brought onstage at this past fall's Lou Reed tribute). It's a comfort, then, that the band can be as full-bodied, engrossing and occasionally unpredictable on the Bug Chaser LP.

Singer Pat Grosch is able to get your attention even if he's not physically demanding it from the stage; his vocals often stick to a monotone chant (as on the thumping, fittingly named "Motorik Steves") or bloom into a growl, as heard on the set-closing "The Real Jensen." Grosch is mixed a little low in places here, but he's also tasked with rising above seven busy bandmates; sometimes he's just another noise in the fray, and that fits.

Having the vinyl copy of this collection makes it easier to come to terms with what can be a sensory overload. Side one is a touch heavier and more patient, though opener "Hearth in the Dearth" wastes little time in setting up dependable and chunky punk riffs. "CHNOPS," the first of two ten-minute songs, gets the most out of its extended run-time. Its intro of electronic handclaps and an R&B guitar riff serve as a pump-fake to a steadily churning slurry of carnival organ, group vocals and a guitar solo that seems to riff over the whole mess.

Continue to page two for more of our review.

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