Cocks Arquette: Cocks Arquette Reviewed

Cocks Arquette’s self-titled debut LP was released May 12, 2012. The LP is essentially three long-form songs. They were recorded live and you can tell. The overall sound of this album is quite refreshing. It feels very free and improvisational. Almost all of what I’ve been listening to lately has a high level of production on it.

I tend to like the perfection on overproduced albums, but after listening to this, those albums feel extremely sterile. It is impossible to tell just from listening, but the impression I get from the album is that the songs aren’t fully composed. There seem to be some vamps that maybe have a set number of times or a cue for when to move on and the rest is just jamming out with the band free form.

If the whole thing is composed (which also wouldn’t be surprising), I have to commend the band on being able to produce this feel with fully composed music. The style of the album is fairly experimental with lots of long periods of sparse instrumentation and white noise. When the band is at its fullest it has a classic punk feel to it combined with noise metal.

Other times they have a sort of math rock feel. For example, in the second track they have this part where the band hits 1 beat, 1 beat rest, 2 beats, 1 beat rest, 3 beats, 1 beat rest … all the way up to 10 and then back down again. Now this seems like a silly basic thing to do, but it is pretty cool the first few times because it is non-obvious that this was where it was going.

The second track is definitely my favorite. It’s very patient and minimal. It starts with some sort of electronic soundscape, but quickly sets up a very mesmerizing fast paced vamp. It is easy to lose yourself in the slow build up to the big climax. It is very atmospheric with electronics coming and going at random. Once that climax fades we enter another phase of the song with a slower vamp.

The vamp is set up by a lone guitar single riff that goes on repetition. This one is just as mesmerizing, but less intense and often beautiful. Every so often there is an added beat variation which keeps you on your toes. They use some out of tune playing on this one to give the sound some extra texture which I love. Despite the repetition going on for 13 minutes, I’m usually sad that it has ended.

The third song again starts with an electronic soundscape. After quite awhile it transitions to some in your face style guitar playing. As with the previous songs, this one takes the vamp set up by this and just keeps adding layers to it. Maybe because it starts bigger I’m not as into this as the previous two, or maybe it’s because I always come off of the excellent previous track. I don’t know. It’s still quite good.

This LP is a great combination of noise, experimentation, electronics, and just plain rocking out. I can’t wait for more from them. I give the LP a 9/10.

Here’s a sample:

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