millions-gatherAaron Turner. Mike Patton. Guy Kozowyk. Steve Austin. Greg Anderson. All influential musicians in extreme music; all influential label heads as well. With Gather Scatter, the debut album by his band Millions, Scott Flaster makes a compelling case for his own inclusion in this hallowed pantheon of multi-taskers. Behind the desk at Chicago’s Seventh Rule Recordings, Flaster has curated a quality roster of abrasive underground bands like Indian, Wetnurse, Light Yourself on Fire and Plague Bringer. Millions turn around and shatter said desk into a whole album’s worth of jagged noise splinters.

Millions hate you. That’s why Flaster and Cory Lyons’s twin guitars disharmonize in near-total discord, and the band’s three vocalists hurl caustic screams and spit venomous tales from the dystopia inside their heads. Millions love you. That’s why you’ll find raw Drive Like Jehu grooves underneath all the ear-prickling guitar scraping of “View From a Sinking Ship,” murky Today Is the Day hooks buried in the chorus to “Getting the Last Word.” Bassist Mark Konwinski and drummer Pat O’Shea batter and twitch underneath the muck.

This ain’t no math-metal record, but there’s a messy geometry at work on Gather Scatter – the record’s all primitive shapes and right angles, not unlike Nat Damm’s blocky cover collage. Grey skyscrapers and transistor towers on the moon? The oscillating guitar lines at the end of “Life Is Satisfactory” sound like a moonbuggy rolling through that lunar landscape on square wheels. Millions look back to noise rock’s mid-90s halcyon days, but Gather Scatter still feels like it’s predicting the future. And an ugly vision of the future it is.
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(3 ½ out of 5 horns)


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