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Epic Fits


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Album Review

Have pity on any poor canines unfortunate enough to live within a three-mile radius of PRE's practice space. On Epic Fits Akiko Matsuura yelps piercing shrieks with a high-pitched desperation, shrill enough to wound the eardrums of anyone capable of hearing that upper register. Comparisons to Yasuko Onuki are inevitable, but consider this a raw, noisier version of the adrenaline-charged Melt Banana. With a dedicated adherence to atonality, the music is potentially even more crazed than the aforementioned spaz-masters of punk, if that's possible. Epic Fits couldn't be a more fitting title for a sweltering, fractured album that seems nearly capable of inducing a seizure. John Webb relies on the art of dissonant anti-chords and angular licks as he chops his fuzzed guitar like a manic Thurston Moore foaming at the mouth over raging tempos that are sporadically interspersed with sudden disjointed pauses. The racing stutter is reminiscent of an auctioneer talking as fast as possible with deep breaths intermingled between the sentences. Tracks specialize in pushing the listener's limits often to an exasperated defeat, left only to sigh in relief at the song's end. It's an amazing feat of willpower to tolerate the seemingly endless cyclic repetition of the psychotic bassline and grinding guitars in "Scenes from a 1963 Los Angeles Love-In." The unyielding severity reaches its climax in a 35-second whirlwind cover of Half Japanese's "Ride Ride Ride," which transitions into the opening drum roll of "Know Yr Teachers" and riotous screams of a mantra from hell, "It's not okay!" — of course, this isn't a definite lyrical translation, since it's nearly impossible to understand what Matsuura is screaming. Song titles "Ace Cock" and "Dude Fuk" indicate that the content is not for the faint of heart, but this should come as no surprise when the entire mood is wild, off-kilter, and insane. Their goal of taking no wave to the most brutal level of intensity is achieved and exceeded with virtuosity, and this disc illustrates that this group is an up-and-coming powerhouse in the genre. It's quite a feat to create this much tension and to challenge the audience to such an extreme level in such short bursts. Quick precision is the name of the game, doused with reckless abandon and then set on fire, resulting in 20 minutes of music that could very well feel like the longest 20 minutes in history. If you can sit through the disc, the result can be rewarding; then again, music like this really isn't made for sitting.


Formed: England

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s

After abandoning their previous vocalist and their former name, the London-based no wave noise-rockers PRE formed in 2005 with animated singer/shrieker Akiko Matsuura, a daredevil known for taking the stage in only her underwear and falling down face first. Her unorthodox spastic antics and vocal style worked well with the band's thrashing song shards and atypical lineup of two bass players, a drummer, and guitarist. Only a few months after PRE's first show, they released their debut EP, Treasure...
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Epic Fits, PRE
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