April 10, 2012

The Great Sabatini - Matterhorn

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

Hardworking Canadian underground group and stalwart Hessian warriors the Great Sabatini consistently push the limits of their skills and aesthetic, as well as their sheer capacity for labour. Currently in the midst of another ambitious North American tour, the band are simultaneously releasing a duelling pair of recordings: Matterhorn (on No List) and free digital companion EP The Royal We, which was recorded with Topon Das of Canadian grindcore heroes Fuck the Facts.

The Great Sabatini are driven to create new music and release it, consistently relying on sheer determination to get their sounds out in the world. But there's far more to them than work ethic; they also produce some hard-edged, heavy and deceptively lovely music. Describing themselves as "swamp trench arithmetic," they favour slow, lurching tempos and towering riff structures, often accented by unusual sound clips and noise elements that give way to moments of beauty.

On Matterhorn, "Invisible Door" possesses a radiant, thrumming sweetness that's complicated by unsettling background sounds and the tuneless wail of a saxophone. This gentleness collapses in on itself and resolves into the deep, crawling grind of "Null and Void," which presses forward as inexorably as an icebreaker. On The Royal We, more claustrophobic and grimy textures leave the sound smeared with a thick film. This allows less light and fewer sublime moments to peek through, but encourages swollen, septic aggression. An impressive pair of releases from a band hell-bent on consistently pushing themselves to their limits.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Read an interview with the Great Sabatini here.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

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