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7 out of 10
Leeds bass & drums instrumental duo Castrovalva (Anthony Wright - bass; Dan Brader - drums) started making music after a house party, when they plugged a Nintendo and a bass into an amp and started making what Wright calls "weird noise". Naysayers will say it should have stayed a drunken idea at a party, but that's to overlook the fact that Castrovalva are more than some easy comparisons to other bass/drum duos (Lightning Bolt, Death From Above 1979, That Fucking Tank).
Admittedly, until they get some more pedals and buttons and Wright's new, customised bass-cum-noise smorgasbord, their options are limited and the likes of 'Bison Scissor Kick', the springy 'We Don't Go To Ravenholm' and stop-start 'My Father Bleeds History' do blend into each other after a while. But on the groovy duo of 'Max Rhodes' and 'Triceratops', with their fat, meaty bass sound and splatter-and-smash drums, Wright and Brader sound formidable.
The ambient, melancholic blips of 'London Kills Me' are all that's left from the weird noise of their earliest days, and perhaps bringing back the electronic elements (or adding vocals, as on the death metally 'Bellhausen') would give Castrovalva more depth. For the time being though, this is a promising display of untamed brute force.
1. Max Rhodes
2. We Don't Go To Ravenholm
3. Dream Carpet
4. Bison Scissor Kick
5. London Kills Me
6. My Father Bleeds History
7. Bellhausen (featuring Leemun Smith)