Review: BNNT - _ _ (Qulturap, 2012)
I wasn’t aware of the existence of the Poznań noise rock (with more noise than rock, definitely) unit BNNT (previously known as Brown Note) until I read a review of their “_ _” album on Polish music webzine Niezal Codzienny (for which I also happen to occasionally write). Taking both the traditions of noise rock duos and guerilla gigs, BNNT suddenly made a lot of noise (both literally and in the blogosphere) during this year’s OFF Festival in Katowice, Poland, after making sudden performances from a battered van touring the city, appearing in balaclavas and drowning the spectators in waves of brutal, bassy noise.
BNNT themselves are more of an art group than a music one, even the instrument played by group co-founder Konrad Smoleński is called “baritone missile”, which literally looks like a missile with strings. Fucking brutal. This brutality is reflected perfectly on their debut studio album, with relentless bass slapping and amphetamine madness on the drums. The songs have little, if any structure, often straying from the main “theme” after a short time into a wall of feedback and random strumming in the vein of Dead C or Harry Pussy, except addled with much more drugs and even more amplified than their forefathers. There are occasional spoken word pieces and vocal samples thrown into the mix and an inexplicable angelic drone will sometimes find its way into the harsh reality (see what I did there?) of this black hole of an album.
The duo come are afiliated with the Poznań label Pink Punk, famous in its home country for their rebellious and forward-thinking take on outsider rock genres, with a special focus on noise rock. BNNT are one of the most extraordinary bands to come from the whole Pink Punk thinktank, both in the image - because you never know what they’re gonna do or when you’re gonna end up in the middle of their gig, it’s so exciting) and the blackened wall of nihilistic guitar sounds ornamented with sound bites from such weirdo movies as Harmony Korine’s “Trash Humpers”. And if you know Harmony Korine because of “Gummo” - believe me, “Gummo” is a Hollywood blockbuster compared to “Trash Humpers”. BNNT ARE the trash humpers.