‘Odd’ is an apt title for the track on PC Worship’s fourth full-length Social Rust, a song that begins with a minute of droning hiss that’s as if the band have just walked off stage after a seriously sweaty show. When the chugging lead guitar kicks in, it’s accompanied by some horrifying screams and blown-out fuzz, essentially making it the perfect companion to a time-lapse of a decaying animal or piece of rotting fruit. A sludgy, menacing introduction that starts the album as it means to go on, the Brooklyn-based band are indulging themselves in a bit of alternative rock’s more formulaic side on ‘Social Rust’, but don’t expect its appeal to come instantaneously - work’s needed on the listener’s end, too.
A so-called ‘junk-fi’ outfit led by multinstrumenalist Justin Frye, ‘Social Rust’ is the combined effort’s of PC Worship’s core four-piece unit (including Frye) and the additional input of seven eccentric musicians dabbling in off-kilter electronics and weird percussion and the like. By the time the six-minute plus ‘Behind The Picture’ is over, there’s already a feeling of being overwhelmed and partially stunned; the thick layers of surprisingly melodic noise perpetuating images of hideous sewer monsters and other nightmares that haunt dreams at night. It’s not a light listen, that’s a given, and Frye’s perplexing outlook on everything is the record’s only consistency over nine tracks. But those open-minded enough to explore Frye’s dystopian world of disgust and despair will find themselves ultimately wearing a shit-eating grin by the time it’s all over.
Dig deep enough, like in the senses-pummelling anthem ‘Rust’ or the mind-bending ‘Paper Song (Dig)’, and intertwined with the layers of claustrophobic chaos are actual tangible melodies. They’re at their best when their post-hardcore elements collide with elements of folk, noise rock and world music, making PC Worship sound kind of like a more restrained METZ playing tremendously twisted shoegaze covers - in slow motion. That’s the single most brilliant thing about ‘Social Rust’ - you could admit defeat and be put off it from the get go, but stick with it long enough and the already rusting rewards reap themselves. When’s the last time a band combined girl-boy vocal duets with militant drums, sweeping riffs and enough reverb to blow a building up? When’s the last time a song consisted of eight minutes of choral demonic chants and skewed, distorted jazz? Can’t remember? Dive into Social Rust then and enjoy a treat that’s unlike anything else.