Music » CD Reviews

Black Dice

Broken Ear Record (DFA/Astralwerks)

by

comment
6135.0.jpeg
All-out noise projects, like Merzbow, seem designed to send listeners screaming from the room. Dance music, on the other hand, is all about pleasing crowds and getting the party started. But on its latest disc, Black Dice attempt to combine noisiness with rhythm, failing on both counts.

Black Dice's noise isn't noisy enough -- it's just a series of crunching sounds and electronic squiggles/squeals that never lock into a steady groove. There's the same problem with the rhythms: They're nowhere near tight enough to dance to, but they aren't spazzy enough to freak out to, either. What's worse, the haphazardness seems deliberate.

Black Dice, like the equally hyped Wolf Eyes, is overdocumented to a laughable degree. The band members seem to roll tape every time they touch a keyboard. But the results haven't yet been interesting enough to merit release. Broken Ear Record feels like a halfhearted gesture, the sonic equivalent of a bored shrug. Some have suggested the whole indie noise "scene" is about fetishizing the insincere, ironic gesture. Well, even if New York hipsters are dumb enough to fall for that trick (again), the rest of America's rock listeners shouldn't feel compelled to follow them over the cliff.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.