Squelch Chamber


Life Has Soured / Squelch Chamber split cassette

I absolutely adore SQUELCH CHAMBER, so seeing this come through my to-do pile was an exciting moment for me. Their full-length Eater of Self was one of my favorite albums last year, and their side of this split continues on with the punishing sludge metal for which they’ve come to be known. Very reminiscent of KILSLUG and other Larry Lifeless projects. It’s like MELVINS if they were even more unhinged. Great stuff as always on their part. LIFE HAS SOURED also plays slow and low noisy doom, but almost sounds tame in comparison to SQUELCH CHAMBER. Good stuff, though. A split that’s well worth picking up if you can find it!

Squelch Chamber Eater of Self cassette

I’ve been a big fan of Owlripper Recordings over these last couple of years, but have only been familiar with their compilations featuring sub-minute tracks from harsh noise artists the world over. Imagine my surprise when this album (released digitally via Owlripper and on tape by Bastard Premonition) kicked off with nothing but a simple, clean drumbeat. I was being baited, but at this point I had no choice but to go along with the ride. The moment that blown-out bass kicked in, I knew I was listening to an instant drone metal masterpiece. Noisy as all hell, dirty, slow, and low. Reminiscent of KILSLUG or a much more rustic version of Bullhead-era MELVINS. Worth a spin for any lover of doom or sludge.

Squelch Chamber Much Drugs cassette

If this weren’t a cassette, I would have checked the RPMs after a rumbling noise intro gave way to a four-note dread missive. Instead, I reached for the volume and felt the rumble take over while I struggled to make out anything not in the lower frequencies. I thought I was prepared after that opening cut…I was wrong. This one’s weird. Noise-drenched dirges, the BODY + crunked MITB + KILLDOZER…and then they fade into the background just long enough to make you think you can relax. Don’t let them fool you.

Squelch Chamber Everything Turns to Shit cassette

This noisy, sludgy mess of a cassette made me wonder at first whether my tape deck was broken, or I got a damaged copy. Full of dissonant fuzz and feedback, there were tracks, like “Below Beneath” and “Instrumental” that seemed less like music than the soundtrack to a psychedelic nightmare sequence in an old Italian giallo movie. Other tracks, like  “A Wolf Alone” and “Drink to Survive” steer closer to hardcore and powerviolence. Their take on “Family Man,” one of BLACK FLAG’s Rollins-era spoken word pieces, smothers the spiteful lyrics in a thick sauce of industrial madness reminiscent of SKINNY PUPPY. SQUELCH CHAMBER seems to be trying to capture the unrelenting heaviness and static of life in the 2020s. Good stuff to disassociate to, especially “Interlude.”

Shitload / Squelch Chamber split cassette

SHITLOAD does some terrible bass and drum machine noise grind. Now with noise grind, it’s all pretty terrible, but there’s good-terrible and bad-terrible. This one is a bunch of thirty-second songs of the same-ass programmed blastbeat with the same-ass incoherent bass noise and two guys shouting different things at the same time. It’s on the terrible side of terrible. Just as I’m about to completely write off noise grind (again), SQUELCH CHAMBER comes on and my mind completely explodes. This is quite possibly the first noise grind band who are not only not terrible, but actually are fucking sick! Absolutely brutal, total fucking noise madness with an actual drummer and actual song structures, and no funny stuff. Almost sounds like a heavy metal MELT BANANA with the evil turned way up. SQUELCH CHAMBER makes this one a must!

Squelch Chamber Down So Low cassette

Here’s a brain-cell-blasting total freak out from Pennsylvania. This one is essentially electronic noise, some drumming and shouted vocals. The songs are structured but no riffs or melodies, just hisses buzzes and drones. Drumming ranges from solid stone-outs to industrial dirges to spastic blast beats. Trying to get weird? Look no further.