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Aural Pleasure Review

Sohns: 'Ripe/Rot' EP

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Gloomy sounds of struggle and organ washes open up this EP from Sohns, a quartet of local racket-raisers, but it jumps right into some rewarding noise on track two, the wonderfully titled "Soul Train Blues of the Broken Skull." Fans of big sheets of noise both sharpened and blunted, from the Jesus Lizard to the Jesus and Mary Chain, will find Ripe/Rot pretty rewarding. Rough patches are covered by lead vocalist Guillermo Méndez's compelling howls halfway between David Yow and Yasuko Onuki. Lyrically, some of the songs contain little gems ("I heard death knocking at the door/ snatching teeth like diamonds," from "The Hole in the Foul"), but others are pretty rote negativity anthems. (There are vague hints that there's some sort of concept-album foolery going on here, but it's probably not important.) It's Méndez's delivery that sells them, and he does so with conviction. Ripe/Rot is awfully brief, clocking in at just under 10 minutes, but it's enough to show the band's potential — get them in a studio with someone who can truly open up their aggressive guitar sound and they could really tear the city's noise rock scene up. See them at their tour kick-off/CD release party on Friday, July 27 at The Ten Eleven ($5, 9pm, 1011 Avenue B), with BLACKIE, Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Boyfrndz, Illustrations, and Búho.

★★★ ½ (out of 5 stars)

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