Nov 2013 11

Iron Fist of the Sun - Who Will Help Me Wash My Right HandIron Fist of the Sun
Category: Industrial / Experimental / Ambient
Album: Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand
Stars: 3
Blurb: An exploration of music as art that can be both interesting and somewhat unsatisfying.


The latest from this Birmingham, England based experimental noise act, Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand continues Iron Fist of the Sun’s exploration of sound. Lee Howard, the project’s sole mastermind builds a grim and oppressive atmosphere using a sparse musical structure and tactical use of droning electronics and occasional blasts of heavily altered, tortured vocals.

The minimal creeping tones of “For You I Will” welcome the listener to Iron Fist of the Sun’s style as whispering distorted vocals and a rattling hum and twitter of electronics play across a slow and steady bass line creating a subliminal “nails on chalkboard” type of disquiet and nervousness. “This Dog Has No Master” continues this very stripped down style, creating a sort of white noise occasionally punctuated by raspy unclear vocals, like a television static briefly capturing a signal before it is lost again. Both “This Dog Has No Master” and “Be Forever Green,” unfortunately, become overly repetitive and lose some of their impact as they tend to fade into the background and fail to hold attention. Surprisingly, the longest track of the album, “Saltpulse” does not suffer from the monotony of its predecessors as it slowly changes and evolves over its 12 minute runtime, keeping the listener engaged as it makes its journey through its early nervous buzzing into harsh, grinding terrain and emerges in a serene but eerie soundscape that carries the mechanical grinding scars of the track’s earlier moments.

As an exploration of mood and music as art, Iron Fist of the Sun absolutely succeeds with Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand. It is an unsettling and interesting work that casts a pall over the listener. While thankfully avoiding the trope of noise for the sake of noise, the album still has a few issues with not knowing when to move on and can fall into the trap of monotony as several of the tracks drone on too long. Conversely, the overall length of the album leaves the listener feeling like one hasn’t heard very much of what Iron Fist of the Sun has to offer. While it is always good to leave the audience wanting more, there is a fine line between that and leaving one unsatisfied and Iron Fist of the Sun does not always land on the right side of that line.
Track list:

  1. For You I Will
  2. This Dog Has No Master
  3. Be Forever Green
  4. Saltpulse
  5. Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand

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Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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