In Review: MAKING – HIGHLIFE (TRAIT RECORDS, 2015)

making cover

Highlife by Making is an unholy mess of damned rhythms and forsaken melody. Undeniably groovy and impossibly bleak, this collection of songs has revitalised my love for noise-rock and reminded me that there is bliss to be found in the odd brain-hammering afforded by listening to well-constructed noise.

Uniquely discordant and rhythmic, Highlife from Making may just be one of my favourite releases of the year so far. This collection of songs has had a history fraught with delays and broken promises. The path was winding and treacherous, but thankfully Melbourne saviours Trait Records was able to breathe life back into the record, blessing our ears with its unholy racket.

Highlife sounds at once inhuman and robotic though malleable and groove-ridden, like a collection of humble electronic instruments corrupted and abused. This is music that is plugs into the baser instincts and removes inhibition and replaces it with rhythm. The world melts into a continuum where the permeating forces are percussive groove, reverberating bass, angular skewering and irreverent and incomprehensible oration. The landscape continuously shifts and changes, leaving little room for safe purchase or respite from the clatter.

Claustrophobic numbers such as ‘ZS’ and ‘Dream Job’ leave heartbeats irregular and breath short, while the brain is obliterated by the epic throb/thrum/hammering of the low end – thoughts are lost in the din. ‘Come To Me’ is unsettling with its repeated mantra, which builds in intensity before cracking and transforming into a shrieking cacophonous mess. Watch the visual accompaniment to ‘Come To Me’ (created by Horse MacGyver) and you can see the terrifying imagery this noise can usher forth. Peaks blistered by wind, grim and staunch skyscrapers, brightly illuminated death jungles; all terrain that can be conjured in the mind depending on the song.

Making’s Highlife is My Disco blown out to extremes, it’s Tool at their most dense, grab a few more violated electronics and hurl them at the ground and you might make Genghis Tron. It’s partially all of these and none of these, its music that purposely defies senses and spits on preconceptions. While this album is only six songs, it’s not short. It’s a slog in a good way, an album that doesn’t easily let go and lingers in the back of your skull until it springs forth akin to exploding head syndrome. This was an album that almost didn’t exist but I’m sure as shit glad it was yanked back from the brink.

Highlife comes out officially on September 4, 2015.

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