Couch Slut – My Life As A Woman Review

This year has seen its fair share of genre-defying noise. Tiger Flowers and Jar’d Loose both put out excellent albums that only remained tied to any kind of ‘extreme’ genre classification through their vocal delivery. Panopticon polarized the black metal community by not giving a single shit about the black metal community. It’s always a far more interesting proposition to these ears to present a spectacular failure born out of passion or defiance of convention rather than a rousing success based on following the path of those that wrote the texts that define a space of a particular noise.

Brooklyn’s Couch Slut walks fairly close to the lines that acts such as Melvins and the Jesus Lizard drew in the sand before them on My Life As A Woman without aping any particular strand of noise or sludge. Instead, the band’s deconstructed brand of heaviness takes most of the bore out of what has become a rather trite and overdone sound. This thing hisses and pops in a way that makes it sound alive.

“Little Girl Things” opens things with a monotonous and droning riff, presumably to send weaker listeners running to the hills, before Megan Osztrosits brings a disjointed warble in as yet another misdirect. It shortly gives way to a more tortured shout, and a pushy one at that. Subtlety is not a strong suit for Couch Slut—it’s as if the band realizes how boring most mid-paced sludge is and has decided to punch up the whole genre by dragging it over a bed of rusty nails.

It’s a common occurrence for My Life As A Woman to kind of boss the listener around. This isn’t a passive listening experience, and shouldn’t be treated as such. “Replacement Addiction” plays out like a Helmet song, if Helmet wrote songs about the nightmare sequence from Jacob’s Ladder. It’s also the only thing resembling ‘fun’ to be had. It’s pretty clear from both the pacing and lyrics/titles (“Carpet Farmer”; “Rape Kit”) that Couch Slut isn’t interested in any kind of ‘fun’, either. These songs mostly feel like tales of terror being told from a hyper-defensive standpoint, which lends a paranoia and a passion to the delivery. It’s almost creepy, as if the album is its own new type of voyeurism.

It’s a short album, which at least one person (me) appreciates. Couch Slut get in, get down to business, get the damn thing done, and they’re gone just like that. A ‘quality over quantity’ argument is always valid, and erring on the side of the former is always the correct choice. In electing to pin together a half-dozen tunes in under a half-hour, the band whets appetites rather than overstays their welcome.

It will be interesting to see how different crowds react to this one. Pissing off purists is something I’ve always enjoyed seeing go down, and there will be no shortage of sludge/stoner/doom meatheads pissing and moaning about how low-rent this sounds because the bass isn’t fuzzier than a peach with e.coli. Also, being based in Brooklyn is sure to bring out the ‘fuck these hipsters’ crowd, who don’t realize that they’re actually more ‘hipster’ than the crowd they’re complaining about. In the meantime, go ahead and put some coin down on this one, because it rules mightily.

Posted by Chris Redar

I am domesticated as fuck. Follow me on twitter (at) chris_redar and play video games with me on Xbox - PP5oneDOOdoo

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