Needham-based act Inconvenience Store presents an interesting anomaly in their highly experimental sound. Their earlier material is rooted in the sound of digital hardcore, a fusion genre that combines hardcore punk with elements of thrash metal, and most notably underground electronic music styles like glitch, industrial, and drum & bass. It has by and large been a majority underground type of music, but briefly experienced some level of mainstream recognition during the 90s with the arrival of German act Atari Teenage Riot. It’s a sound that fits Inconvenience Store to a tee; booming, thudding electronic beats, loops, and textures, combined with a familar metalcore sound that goes heavy on decibels, roaring-yet-abstract lyrics, and left-wing politics.
On their latest release however, all that has been thrown out the window. For the duration of its just over 10 minute length, If I Was A Morgue, No One Would Die dances a line between their typical Daughters-like sound, and one that would feel right at home among Lowell’s hefty noise scene. Gone are their cryptic, metaphorical lyrics, and lessened are the electronically-enhanced drumbeats, in favor of a heavier focus on programming, field recordings, samples, and noise manipulation. It’s decidedly more Throbbing Gristle than Atari Teenage Riot, but it makes for an incredibly foreboding set piece, especially when the drums do manage to creep back in and transform the proceedings into a sort of psychotic combination of drill & bass and musique concrete.
Not missing from If I Was A Morgue, No One Would Die however is the overwhelming, cynicism and nihilism that were thematic on previous releases. As the EP jumps seamlessly from grinding, sample-chopped beats, to foreboding ambience, to shrill, shrieking distorted noise, there is an overwhelming sense of equal parts dread and hopelessness that is conveyed as well. (Undoubtedly inspired by the buffet of horrors and tumult that has been 2020.) It’s a compellingly confrontational entry in Inconvenience Store’s discography, one that could easily be the soundtrack to any network news story.
FFO: Throbbing Gristle, Daughters, Atari Teenage Riot, Prurient, Big Black