November 21, 2012

Graf Orlock - Los Angeles

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

Graf Orlock (named after the character in early cinema masterpiece Nosferatu) are a grindcore band from Los Angeles, CA. They have been labelled cinema-grind for their use of film dialogue as lyrics, especially from action and science fiction titles, and their extensive sampling of dialogue, especially as song intros. Guitarist/vocalist Jason Schmidt also runs Vitriol Records, and releases all Graf Orlock's material, as well as others like Ghostlimb and Dangers.

The band favour the EP format; most of their releases have been short, tight compositions, and Los Angeles follows 2011's well-received Doombox EP. This particular release veers away from the speculative fiction they often favour and instead samples Michael Mann's Heat. Graf Orlock match the irresistible structure of tension and cathartic violence of action films with ten minutes of tight, explosive music designed to titillate and entertain. The lo-fi quality of their sound takes on the cast of grindhouse sleaze, the crackle of feedback evoking the imperfection of celluloid.

There's intimacy to Los Angeles as well, a type of enforced closeness that you often see crop up between characters in violent films who have been through too much not to form a relationship with each other. Love inspired by trauma and explosions is the perfect metaphor for Graf Orlock, and in particular Los Angeles, all distilled immediacy and adrenaline, with the tang of gunpowder.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

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