Inhalant – Clinical

Texas! 2005! Here skulks a master of atmospherics, a dingy carcass of lo-fi Power Electronics, Death Industrial/Dark Ambient & dishevelled Noise, ravaged by years of open-air exposure & elemental dereliction – Inhalant. Easily one of the classiest practitioners in a genre beset by dog-shit, dumbness & hyper entrenched unoriginality, Inhalant (aka Chad Wicked) strides distinguished with a  subterranean savviness & stand-out artistic quality, without forgoing any of the squalor, brackishness or leer associated with the genres initial ideals. In fact, on his better recordings, I don’t think it would be inauspicious to hail the material as some of the finest Death Industrial & richly atmospheric Industrial/Noise on the circuit, with a very authentic, almost under-produced (but not quite) lo-fi shabbiness for that perfect condemned & decaying Soviet-silo finish. The use of vocals, screamed through distant burial chambers or down empty corridors, coiling out of rusting storm-drains like nefarious spirits haunting sites of atrocity – is another brush of expertise. Echo sodden phantoms murmuring distorted slogans or simply groaning/incanting down barely-standing industrial chimney-stacks. Inhalant also make excellent use of rhythm, with pulsing synths or sampled Noise loops churning & fraying on selected tracks. This manifests most notably here on the remarkable opening title “Trauma Ward”, a truly magnificent epic of Noise-Industrial-Electronic inter-stitch. The accompanying four cuts from this five track EP – Help Me, Terminally Ill, Clinical & Reach Out are all on the mark, making this an exceptionally titillating release. The minimalist design & photography all assert an expert eye & compliment the opus (self-released by Chad). Blatantly one of the best acts that American Noise has to offer. Other high-lights from Inhalant include two split CD releases on Jigokuki/Lo-fi Or Die Records that also pledge unbelievably decent material along with the brilliant (but much harsher & wilder) “Audio Terror” piece that was issued as a pro-CDR on Harsh Noise.

PS: “Clinical” cassettes come shrink-wrapped with a fresh surgical mask! An earlier “Kill Yourself “ CDR from Inhalant came with a razor blade for all you amicable optimists creaming rainbows out there.

Rekd: 2005

Label: (self-released, ltd #100 hand-numbered copies)