Sunday, July 19, 2015
In summer of 2009, I had first heard of this band while hanging out after work with 3/5's of DEVOUR at some small house party in Raleigh, NC. They had played some select shows over that weekend with WORMEATERS from NJ. I sat there, sober at a party, gaining stimulus from hearing Matt LaVallee tell me about what in the hell they saw. The way he was talking was as if he actually saw a UFO. They literally could not describe Pollution to me at all. If we were speaking on the lines of influence and genre, then nothing they were saying made sense to me at all, and I immediately noted that as a great thing. Maybe something along the lines of "nothing can do justice to what they are live". "absolutely crushing", "seeing this band live will scare the ever living shit out of you", were select quotes I believe I remembered hearing that night.
This was reason enough for me to pick up the cassette copy of Pollution's NASTY DNA (limited to 100) at Richmond's No Way Fest 3. This was one of around 7 tapes I picked up that weekend. Skeptical of the hype, on my drive home, I rummaged my way through all the quick demos first which included a Total Wreck demo tape that was really cool, and much more. After hearing everything, I saved the Pollution tape for last, only because it was the longest one, and also due to the fact that I had developed expectations for it just a couple of weeks prior.
The first song "tiny.black.burns" hit and I immediately was putting my hand up to my forehead and my mouth was open. The second song, "Failure" starts with a guitar riff entirely dissonant, unsettling and tonally gritty; the drums begin and then I realize that I probably shouldn't be driving the car any longer. The crawling pace of "Upsidedown Trough" feeds back through the speakers what what can only seem as visually motioned tempos and vocal lines clearly illustrating a bleak and disgusting picture: 'capsized in the ocean // holy water wars // you can't just turn the thing around // how many times do I have to tell you // not to waste your time'. This can be related to on modern occasions and is immediately stark and realistic. The beastly mid-tempo slammer "drop.die" comes on next which makes me ask myself, "What in the hell am I listening to?" The songs were soul damaging, but carried these unforgettable hooks to them that seemed carefully, yet naturally written. I was nervous while hearing this and it actually made me feel like the world was ending. I was in disbelief of the riff in "shock.no exist". It carried itself with an ever-haunting tone and paced down to a crawl but everything cut just right in order to keep your attention.
This first listen unfathomably exceeded my expectations, and thus prompted me to drive the rest of the trip saying absolutely nothing and letting the tape automatically flip at least a dozen times for the remainder of the overnight drive back to Raleigh. The vocals were such a perfect balance of fury, poetry and clarity. No two songs were written alike each other, and also, no band ever sounded like this entire tape. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. When arriving back to Raleigh at around 5:30am, I pull out the lyric sheet and read through the entire tape. I don't think I was ever meant to sleep that night.
In 2009, picking up this tape was directly related to me wanting to start a new band. One month after waking up every morning and studying the careful writing, lyrical clarity, shocking guitar parts, and absolutely soul stealing drum parts, I remained on the edge of my seat for more of their releases.
About a month later at a Shards show in my basement in mid-July of 2009:
"Hey Ira, I like your drumming, do you want to try to play some music tomorrow? I play guitar and might have some riffs.", said to me, a 17 year old named Jeff Young. I had only seen him around at shows and had never hung out with him that much before.
"Come back over to my house tomorrow afternoon, you absolutely have to hear this Pollution record", I said back to him. I'm pretty sure this was how Jeff and I would end up starting a band called Stripmines.
Download (thank you to Cut & Paste blog for this- find them at http://cutnpasteyoface.blogspot.com )
Posted by VILE DISCOURSE at 7:07 PM