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The Yawn of the New Age

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Album Review

Zweizz, the alter ego of Svein Egil Hatlevik, likes his metal, classic rock, goth, noise artists, avant-garde composers, and everything else in between. Perhaps even more importantly, he has a well-developed sense of humor. Though (or perhaps because) it appeared on the Vendlus label, The Yawn of a New Age, his debut album after a 2004 single, is less a metal album than a "do whatever because you can" album, no bad thing at all if you know what to do. Zweizz does, thankfully, and his combination of frenetic drum machine beats, murky vocal rants, and general oddness — "necrotech," as it's been tagged — could just as easily be a release on Load or some obscure Japanese CD-R label as anywhere else in the world. Sometimes the song titles are enough — "Masturbatory Attention Deficit Disorder," "Thank You in the Face," "Nowadays Only the Boring Everything Is So Frustrating." Happily, Zweizz does more than dream those up — some songs are downright subtle, like "Raevkjort," with its heavily flanged feedback swirl and crackling static, while "Blacker Than Darkness," a collaboration with Homo Vinter, is a merry little cheap keyboard ditty that's the most devolved version of mainstream early-'90s rave ever. Plenty of wonderfully off-kilter moments abound — the shift from squiggly electronics to a clunky guitar riff and random drum spurts on the appropriately titled "Your System Sucks," the almost too calm piano part that's the core of the concluding "Amateurs" (at least at the start) — and all add up to an inspired listen.

The Yawn of the New Age, Zweizz
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