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World Music CD Reviews North American

Savage Aural Hotbed

By Doug Merlino
Published April 27, 2007

The Unified Pounding Theory

The members of Savage Aural Hotbed must salivate over construction sites. On its fifth album, the Minneapolis quartet applies a beating to sheet metal, jugs, barrels, rebar, pipes, springs, coils and a tractor muffler. Those sources of pummel and clang are all mixed in with regular old drums, bass and occasional bursts of distorted sound from electric drills, saws and grinders. Inspired by Japanese Taiko drumming, industrial music and Brazilian drumming, the band’s music, far from the anarchic chaos the choice of instruments suggests, is tightly structured and almost ceremonial. It marches forward in layered patterns: bell sounds alternate with percussive blasts, drum cadences are accompanied by the whine of a drill, the clang of metal is set against beating on wooden blocks and plastic tubs. There’s no need to over-think it: If four guys making cool, hypnotic noises by thumping stuff they’ve scavenged appeals to you, pick this up.