Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Biipiigwan - Nibaak

Review by Natalie Zina Walschots. Originally published here by Exclaim.


Based in Ottawa, ON, Biipiigwan's new EP, Nibaak, follows up their full-length, God's Hooks, released in March 2010. Nibaak was recorded, mixed and mastered by Topon Das, of Juno-nominated Canadian grindcore act Fuck The Facts, and is composed of three five-minute songs.

The EP serves as a kind of tapas menu for noisy Canadian metal: toothsome, flavourful dishes that are too spare to constitute a full meal, but make up for their brevity with powerful flavours and a heady kick of spice. Lots of words are tossed around to describe Biipiigwan, usually with the prefix "post" and suffix "core." They fall somewhere between nimble, thoughtful sludge and orderly noise, tempered by a good, deep buzz.

"Nibaak" means "they sleep" in Ojibway, but there's far too much of a racket here to be in any way restful. "Kingmaker" is a clamouring, clawing piece, bashing itself against the walls of its musical cage. "Rodentia" evokes the chittering misery of a rat chewing its leg free from a trap, where the titular "Nibaak" is the most agonized of all, wailing like a grizzly with its paw in a bear trap. Biipiigwan play with limitations and constraints, and the sonic agony inherent in cruelly imposed limits. Nibaak is a surprisingly neat and tidy exploration of pain.


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