Today we’re looking at the latest self-titled album from Athens noise-rockers, Kooba Tercu, and it must be said, this is rather late, but I got sent this around about the time I went on my hiatus. So yeah, this has been a few months coming now and I’m hoping to get through my backlog of emails as fast as I can.
Kooba Tercu, are loud five piece noise-rock, sometimes sludgy metal band that’s fronted by lead maniac Johnny Tercu. These guys have played with some big names, such as the ritual rockers GOAT and it must be said that Kooba Tercu’s brand of heavy, eclectic and abrasive music fits this scene. This is their debut album and, well, how is it?
It’s somewhat of a grower, but also very instantaneous in its delivery to you. What I mean is the way these lot set up their songs is full of variety and life, but the sound can be abrasive, maybe too abrasive for some listeners, but even then, there’s probably something here for you to enjoy. There are some sludge tracks here, some more straight forward rock songs and even some proggy stuff. It’s this life that gives their self-titled an edge in the noise-rock scene. Let’s take the song, Squirting Squid, it’s a slow builder that predictably builds into a sudden barrage of heavy, but there’s this playful little interlude at the one and a half minute mark that knocks you off your feet for a few and if you’re not paying attention to how far into the song you are, you’d assume it’s over. Wrong.
Variety is the flavour of music and despite having one clear cut dish here, that tastes oscillates, depending on how far into the meal you are. Pebble is one of the few moments you’re allowed to catch your breath with some more reserved drumming and clean guitars, but even then, you’re still left on the edge of your seats awaiting the dip into distortion. It builds in an exciting manner and eventually crashes into these epic chords and mini guitar line, but then lapses back into the reserved flavour again. Elephant also flirts with flavoursome structure with its ever changing wall of noise and subtle but sinister outro.
The more punkish songs on this album are catchy and while they feel much less measured, I don’t doubt that they’re still incredibly measured and well thought out. Chika is one such punk – it starts with a phat bass and some peculiar guitar line with full on fuzz. The drums near the outro here are also nice and unconventional which brings some interesting sounds to the stage.
I love the instrumentation on this album has its visceral – the guitar chords and harmonics all sound vicious and the bass is cheeky. What really stands out here to me right now, is the drums and how much variety is thrown out, the intro to some of these tracks (Ukunta and Sonique) make use of chill drumming in the intros. The drumming is in no way typical of this genre and that goes down a treat when coupled with the instrumentation and the vocals from Kooba Tercu.
I’m not sure when Kooba Tercu are at their best, which is good, because they dabble in the punk, the sludge, the metal and some maths, but no matter what these guys are doing on the album, I seem to be enjoying it. Hell, loving it. This is an excellent album and you should hear it in all of its splendour -aggressive and precise the punk will keep you encapsulated, but you’ll slave away under the heavy sludge. The highlights are the proggy moments that you get from the likes of Squirting Squid, so give that one a whirl and I hope you love this album as much as I did.