Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Rovar 17 I.N.R.I.

Rovar 17 - I.N.R.I.
Unsigned. US038 CDR/Booklet
66 copies.

In the not too distant past there existed a time when it seemed impossible to release something of a noisy nature without it coming in something outlandish and outrageous. The soon to follow reviews then began with gushing praise for the outstanding nature of wooden box/metal ingot/compressed dustbin/dead dog that the release came in the sounds therein meriting a few passing lines. 

The Hungarian label Unsigned have resisted the temptation to adorn their releases with anything other than what passes for normal [at least with what they’ve sent to me] but for some reason have gone all Shroud of Turin on us with the cover to Rovar 17’s release I.N.R.I. Over the top packaging isn’t something I’ve experience for a few years now and to some extent I’d forgotten it existed [and with hindsight haven’t missed it that much at all], so I have to admit to being a little shocked when I saw on the mat peering out of what was left of its jiffy bag, a lump of wood covered in red and black paint splattered cloth. The lump of wood measuring about six inches by eight, the cloth glued to it then extended to act as a wrap around. There’s a little red ribbon to tie it all together too. The CD itself is found in a clear DVD style inner that's stuck to the lump of wood all of which must have cost a sodding fortune to post and put together. 

Then there’s the A5 booklet of black and white photos featuring a Japanese looking person as captured in various artistic poses. The theme being a Biblical one of course; a crown of thorns, a catapult, er … a pair of scissors, a cats cradle. According to the blurb the album was written in response to the booklet but what the booklet is about I can only guess at with references to Adam and Eve and God Dymo printed and cut and pasted hither and thither along with other fonts of a typewriter nature.

Artwork, songwriting and vocals are credited to Syporca Whandal with the sounds being composed and mastered by Kálmán Pongrácz. The results? Have they been worth waiting for. Actually yes. But only just. Four tracks of eerie, atmospheric, industrial groan littered with angst ridden, buried in the mix Hungarian vocals [I’m assuming]. Vocals that to these ears sound like the Wicked Witch of the West casting spells into a bubbling black pot of frogs and eyeballs. Which I’m guessing wasn’t the intention. Tracks are IESVS, NASARENVS, REX and IVDREORVM. Which must mean something to Syporca Whandal but to me look like Latin anagrams.

Was it worth it? All that splattering of paint and gluing not to mention the time involved and the cost? To the artist I hope the answer is yes. For me I’d have been happy with a little more explanation and something a little less outlandish.



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