Marshstepper – “a New Sacrament of Penance” – [Downwards America]
J.S. Aurelius and Nicholas Nappa, two of the main members of Tempe, Arizona’s Ascetic House collective, have put together another collection of sounds under the Marshstepper moniker. Out on the Down America label, Marshtepper is a sonic cat and dog fight that at one moment can be almost tuneful in a despondent way and in another an industrial punch. The boys have done their homework, for sure. Often sounding like Throbbing Gristle and early Cabaret Voltaire (the muted vocals had me make a double take), the five tracks cover a lot of industrial electronic noise territority. The grinding electronics, the muted shouted vocals, the longness of a track which becomes almost hypnotic… it’s all a new take on an old style that is made fresh by this newer generation’s perception of how this should sound. Familiar, in a good way, but new and stretching out to current day territory in the area of sonic fullness.