Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Release of the Day: Hogg - Bury the Dog Deeper

Samuel R. Delany, coincidentally my favorite author, has books of a great variety: science-fiction, non-fiction, theory, erotica, etc. Within the last six months, I had the pleasure of reading one of his most confounding, transgressive books, Hogg, for the first time  All you need to know is this: Hogg is the name of the central character in the book, the embodiment of everything perverse in human society - his paying job is to rape and break people, which he'd do without the promise of financial compensation.

This is a sufficient backdrop to Hogg - I think it's where they got the name because it certainly makes sense. The Chicago postpunk two-piece made of Emma Sims and Hanna Elliott released their first album Bury the Dog Deeper, a cassette on Andy Ortmann's Nihilist label, earlier this month. It makes me feel so terrible and goddamn I love it so much. At a live show, the duo changes formation and instruments - guitar, drums, drum machine, bass, and vocal duties - between songs. This is done effortlessly and efficiently.

There's an element of hypnotism to both performance and song, as Hogg builds its foundation on deep, dark bass and drum grooves. This is sinister music. This is unsafe music. Additionally, Hanna and Emma get a ton of mileage out of their instruments and their voices. Sometimes guitar sounds like guitar and sometimes like a factory line. Similarly, sometimes their vocals are siren-like, but at other times they recall The Keres, the Greek female spirits of violent death. The eight songs on Bury the Dog Depper are reminders that we have yet to squeeze every ounce of postpunk out of its drying husk and I personally can't wait to see what vice-gripping method the band comes up with next.

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