After enough listens, I like even the ugly-ass artwork of New Knife of the Berserker. It fits the record, which is hairy, lo-fi, and violent. Imagine Fantomas with worse chops and better songs, fuzzing out 14 tracks in 29 minutes. Metal, punk, prog, skronk, and general chaos collide in a grand mal bout of uneasy listening. It reminds me of a tougher version of Chicago’s Sick Room Records, which vomits forth some of the most interesting and unlistenable music I’ve ever heard. Some moments have raging riffs; others have melodica and horns and sputtering free jazz.

Nice J-B God
Malnourished Labida

Normally, I have little patience for this kind of indulgence. But the riffs are memorable, and the band tears them off like bandages from a fresh wound. This kind of glorious mess would be perfect for, say, Crucial Blast, not to mention a drunken night out. To pick up this piece of filth (self-released, 2003), hit up the band’s MySpace.