Unsigned and Unholy: qip
The best promos are the ones I think I’m going to hate, but end up really enjoying. It’s always nice to see a band who are an affront to my cynical journalist’s taste with their aesthetic or name, only to then win me over with their musical efforts. It makes me question my own standards, which is hard to do when I’m sitting on this high horse of Internet journalism (read: a crumb-strewn couch in a dank loft).
I don’t much care for the cover, or title, of qip’s On Ephemeral Substrates. The image of the gloomy-looking half-face surrounded by scratchy lines feels a little cybergoth for me, and the album name suggests some serious dictionary-digging went on in its creation. Hell, I even don’t like the band name–qip, all lower-case. So going into this listening session, I expected some clicky or over-synthed noise music that I could dismiss quickly.
But no, I listened to the whole album, and then listened to it again, because On Ephemeral Substrates fucking rules. The mixture of industrial, doom, death metal, and goth thereon is perfect, full of really potent and stark disgust. Musically, imagine Red Harvest and Stomach Earth collaborated with Snorre Ruch on a project about mind-control. The spy-related samples throughout add a nice touch, taking the album’s message to a place beyond the usual You Are Being Controlled revolutionary jargon.
Interestingly, while qip hail from Belfast, the band’s Svengali and his collaborators all have names that sounds Polish, or at least Eastern European. It’s cool to think of this sort of compelling, paranoid assault coming not just out of Ireland, but from Ireland’s Polish district. Or maybe Maciek Pasinski, leader of qip, just went to same church as all of these guys growing up and roped them into his metal act. Either way, cool.