Thursday, 23 May 2013

Review: Iron Fist Of The Sun - 'Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand'

'Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand' 

The name Iron Fist Of The Sun is familiar to aficionados of power electronics of the last decade. The body of work built up by Lee Howard operating under the IFOTS banner started from the sonic brutality of 'Behavioural Decline' and has continued to apply method and experimentation which on 'Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand' shows the sure hand of a fully realized vision.

'For You I Will' is the sound of nefarious plans being put into action, cold and unnerving in its calm. The pulse and hum of 'This Dog Has No Master' is the underlying OM of a universe that has it out for you. This could be the pulse in your own ear as from without the clang of metal percussion prepares the treatment and a venomous distorted voice cuts through. As with the opening track, it's the restraint of this track that makes it effective. 'Be Forever Green' is a power electronics assault that is about as structured and rhythmic as a composition playing in this field can be.

A fog horn drone initiates the action on 'Saltpulse', which proceeds with skittering and juddering loops and a sine-wave rotary phone off the hook heartbeat. This is a piece in three acts, with the second dissolving into what sounds like ham radio static. The track brings the listener on into a building noise-filled melodic resolution that is downright beautiful in its combination of distorted vocals declaiming forcefully over a soft bed of keys and grinding static.

'Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand' has a very retro-futurist vibe to it, bringing to mind the sound emissions of a mad scientist's lab in a 1950's b-movie. There is even a background of dramatic chords behind the screams and the death-ray stabs. A power electronic release may not be intended to make one smile, but with 'Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand', IFOTS bring a most enjoyable kind of hurt.

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