Sarin – Just Beat The Devil Out Of It
3.13.17 by Kat Harding
Peering out at you from the front of the cassette is a mysterious grey alien, barely decipherable on the green and black cover, guarding the bright green tape inside. Released on Des Moines’ experimental tape label 5CM Recordings, Sarin’s “Just Beat The Devil Out Of It” is almost 40 minutes of droney, psychedelic improvisation by Matt, Kyle, Kaylee, and Mathias. Recorded in early 2016 and released in August, the tape is nearly 40 minutes of tight listening.
Both sides named after vibrant pigments: Pthalo Green I and II, matching the vibrant green of the cover and the tape. Each side is almost twenty minutes of improvisation ranging from psychedelic to drone to sludge metal. The side starts off with rolling drums, creating a noisy, echoing, drone-filled space. Continuing with anxiety-inducing guitar wails, feedback weaves through the song as it meanders along. A mysterious feeling overtakes around the 8 minute mark, reminiscent of the part of the horror movie where the character doesn’t realize they’re being followed by a monster, but we know. Will they figure it out in time? Probably not. But the song and improvisation continues, even coming together for a brief foray into a jazzy section, with lots of cymbals and a low bass beat. The song picks up speed, screeching around, for one last bit before coming to a halt with one last cymbal crash.
The second begins with industrial reverberation over clanging, moving into a toe-tapping section, that while dark, is more upbeat. The drums are out of control on this song, with heavy-handed smashing and constant cymbals. Continuing into a section of alarm-style tones, the cymbals then throw the song into a section of heavy sludge metal. With seven minutes left, the psychedelic influences reappear, begging to be paired with a projected, swirling light show over a blank wall. The alien repetition evokes outer space and all it’s vast chaos: I’ve never felt like the dense universe would be a peaceful and calming place. The song unravelings into twinkling chimes over pulsating drums and fading to reverb, closing out the song in more of a whimper than a bang — just like the world will end.
Pick up the tape for yourself on 5CM’s bandcamp.