Henry Oliver reviews L$D Fundraiser’s new album StreetNOISE, which led to a sizeable section of Dunedin’s CBD being shut down after a cassette copy was mistaken for a bomb by a concerned citizen.
‘When There’s Nothing Else To Lose’, the first half of L$D Fundraiser’s new album, StreetNOISE, begins with a gentle sweet of repeating delayed guitar string scrapings paired with expanding and contracting circles of feedback from a second, and perhaps a third, guitar.
Over 18-or-so minutes, the swell builds, bringing in hammered strings, distant clangs and industrial crunches, slowly raising in your spine before devolving into a quieter, yet harsher squeal. One guitar’s feedback comes in rippled pulses which keeps things moving away from a solid drone. Soon, a higher pitch comes in, like a faulty hairdrier with a bobby pin stuck in its motor.
When there’s nothing left to lose the cassette’s packaging reads, hinting at why someone thought this might be a bomb but also providing context to the distorted dreamscape scraping through your headphones.
i will firebomb your car.
i will hack into your computer.
i will leak trade & state
i will hammer holes in your office windows.
i will raise your buildings to the ground. i will bring you down.
Shit! Not messing around then?
Side two, ‘I’ll Bring You Down’, begins on a gentler note, but continues in the same sonic language as before. There are obviously the same guitars, same pedals, same amps, same high ceilings, same harsh wails.
Three or four minutes in, ‘I’ll Bring You Down’ closes in and becomes claustrophobic with squealing and shivering. It’s closing in. There’s nowhere to go. You’re fucked. You’re dead. It’s a bad trip and you’re stuck with it for five more hours (okay, 12 more minutes).
But as soon as you’re reconciled to the hellscape you’ve been banished to, the guitars calm to a low roaring ocean with distant birds squawking for a mate. Breathe. You’re home. And you’re fine. Everything’s fine.
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