NEOANDERTALS, Australopithecus (2009, self-released)
Behold, the first Big Dumb Skull (artist’s rendering). While the charter of the Skullection requires skulls to be human, The Council is not so speciesist as to deny the fundamental humanity of this early hominid, and in fact, The Council generally holds that the difference in intelligence between this ancestor and modern man is negligible. And believe me, The Council would know!
Neoandertals are a two piece outfit who play something along the lines of “drum and bass grindcore.” At times it really is fairly reminiscent of Brutal Truth, minus the guitars, as pointless as that sounds, but generally it works. But, that’s Neondertals in their ordinary configuration. This release was a one-off jam session between main man Rain Pohlak and the band’s original drummer, Roland Seer. To call this metal would probably be a bit of a stretch, but historically, the band is metal enough that they have earned admission to the Skullection based on their past works. Australopithecus is also a moderately interesting release that might hold some appeal for math rock fans, in particular devotees of Hella, and I’d say the math rock/metal crossover is fairly wide. The playing here is tight, and far more interesting than 99% of metal bands could possibly manage to improvise over the course of a couple days. That said, this is a document of a weekend jam session, so a certain amount of musical meandering is to be expected, and if you can’t hang with that kind of literal musical experimentation, you’re definitely not going to enjoy the sounds on offer here.
— Friar Johnsen