Noise rock was a logical spin off of punk as the focus was more on the abrasive/aggressive sounds. Much like any genre, noise has seen its share of divisions and branches but still, at its core, the abrasiveness that punk got across through highly charged lyricism, noise rock does with distorted guitars and experimental yet jagged song structures. Missouri’s Dodecad are astute grads of the original, and highly lauded, noise rock class and on their third effort Contempt their aggressive experimentation collides very successfully with a patience we’ve yet to hear in their songwriting. As a result they have an album’s worth of some of the best and most varied material we’ve heard thus far.
We’ve featured Dodecad in these pages before and after getting to know them a little better in this interview it came as no surprise who they listed as major influences. One spin through the mathy vitriol of debut Impotence or the violent but intelligent sludgy noise on Growth and it’s clear that not only noise rock made an impact but some of the heaviest and nastiest hitters in metal had as well. It was, and is, a combination that speaks volumes to me as a fan of all things extreme but particularly my thirst for noise rock gets the biggest satisfaction.
With Contempt, the band has grown exponentially in a very short time. The aggressive nature of their music is still present and accounted for as heard on the ear splitting “16-II” but the choice to slow it down a bit in spots and let the dark moods surface to a greater extent is an exceptionally good one. After all, what’s really good noise rock without a dark and downbeat attitude? Examples of this abound throughout but nowhere is it more evident than on “11.” And frankly, this may well be the best track Dodecad has ever done because of just how they choose to show their immense power and how well they show restraint when needed. The track rips a hole in the sky through its opening and closing but the quiet patience, feathered guitar plucks and fluid drumming through the song’s core is indeed the money shot — simply meaning: this is what great noise rock is made of.
On Contempt, Dodecad bring their sound full circle from gritty and in your face (Impotence and Growth) to immensely entertaining noise rock that pays perfect homage to the past while keeping things fresh and forward thinking. Whether you’re a fan of the genre or not, what they offer here, and in conjunction with their last two, is top tier and something that I hope you’ll take the time to get acquainted with. Plus they tell one hell of a story that couldn’t be any more timely if it tried. They’ve put the effort in and we get to reap the benefits, it really doesn’t get any better than that.