The closest analogue to Chicago's Redemer is Death Grips. Putting aside their pretentious Chateau Marmont stint, and the heavy-handedness of the art school documentary memorializing it, Death Grips has brought us splendidly chaotic entries threaded with traces of 90's mainstream hip-hop. At one point, it even looked like Death Grips had a sense of humor. [No dice: It turns out the No Love Deep Web dick pic album art was just further evidence that the band includes one or more self-serious ideologues. But their bold statement was bargained away long ago – the moment the band presumably contracted away their right to stop the music from being streamed on outlets that pixelate the appendage, e.g. Spotify.]
Well, Redemer does have a sense of humor, happily singing about magic fucking turtles, and how these shelled reptiles might just fuck your wife – or save your life. They also have the 90's box checked with “Wrong Turn”'s allusion (at 3:14-3:22) to the intro of MJ/Janet's “Scream.” Simply put, Redemer's musical mosaic is no less gripping for its lack of penis pictures.
Case in point is the dual-blade buzz saw of “Rock Show.” We get the sneering snarl of a David Yao (or a Tasmanian devil); and while this is nothing new (Pissed Jeans made a career out of it), this is the first time I've heard it alternated with the guttural growl of metal. (Redemer's rhythm section toggling between bouncy and beast mode like it's a PlayStation.)
Redemer's Facebook page hints at a breakdown in their musical order – that Redemer has died. It wouldn't surprise me. Sometimes a mass of human entrails comes courtesy of four horses galloping in different directions. But it'll be a hiatus, if that – the music itself reanimates corpses. So let it be said, Redemer makes music that makes zombies. [Heck, I'm convinced the whole of “Wrong Turn” is just that: the mobilizing chants; the carnage that ensues when the magic works; then the charged silence of a world that's both void of human life and full of dormant zombies.]
*** The author of this review, Ernest Foster, plays the maddale for the following band: http://youtu.be/tMS73-1kCr8