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CD Review: Khanata

Clean Hands Go Foul (Hydra Head)


Khanate is the sort of band that elicits visceral more than aural responses. The quartet's previous albums have been listener-challeng-ing records packed with last-breath shrieks, abrasive low end, constant feedback and the sort of dissonance that raises hairs and conjures images of car crashes. The band's swan song, the four-song Clean Hands Go Foul, is a fitting final note, with its disturbingly uncomfortable moods and emotionally affecting washes of noise. These tracks aren't songs as much as explosions of desperation and tension. The drumming is scattered and erratic, switching from the pitter-patter of children's feet to the sound of windows shattering. The guitar and bass are detuned, moaning monstrosities that give a whole new to meaning to the term "wall of sound," before they suddenly rip through a track like a jarring alarm clock ending an eerie dream. Singer Alan Dubin's hawk-cry barrages may be the most unsettling aspect of Khanate's sound. His screams and groans are like your deepest fears made real and — combined with the deconstructed noise of his bandmates — make for a complex panorama of unsettling emotions. —Whelihan

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