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Reviews
Zack Kouns - Ol’ Man Hitler Gonna Get His Hands On You
Tuesday, July 15 2008 @ 01:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: Romain Bonilla

Ol’ Man Hitler Gonna Get His Hands On You

Artist: Zack Kouns United States

Title: Ol’ Man Hitler Gonna Get His Hands On You

Label: Self Released

Genre: Vocal / Noise

Four untitled tracks

When Ol’ Man Hitler Gonna Get His Hands on You started to play, I thought my speakers had gone mad. I admit that I should’ve been suspicious of such a strange artwork. The CD, which seems to be a cheap burnable one with the album’s title grotesquely scribbled on it, was sent inside a simple, asymmetrical pair of stapled sheets of paper, with some apparently random marker stains on one side, which I found rather humorous. Yes, I should’ve kept my guards up; with a cover that bizarrely raw, one should expect a similar album sound.

The album’s four tracks consist of what seems to be vocal experimentation on a guitar pedal. I don’t know if any of you have ever tried putting a distortion effect on your voice, but if you have, you’ll quickly recognize the effects that were used, which can go from quite simple (reverb and gain) to quite elaborate (loops and echoes juxtaposed with background noises). I can’t help but compare this album to Mike Patton’s Adult Themes For Voice, which is in many ways similar to Ol’ Man Hitler Gonna Get His Hands on You: noisy, lo-fi, vocal experimentation, alternating fierce epileptic sound eruptions with… well… less fierce sound eruptions.

One thing that struck me while I was listening to this release was that the mood of the tracks can be easily perceived and distinguished. The opening track, which is by far the longest, gives a rather paranoiac sensation, especially with the repeated phrase “Ol’ man Hitler gonna get his hands on you,” which almost caused me to look behind my back a couple of times. The second track, however, is a stonier, quieter piece with long ooh’s and aah’s, surrounded by fast loops of vocal noise, which sounds more like a drug-induced euphoria than the first track, which sounds like the thoughts of a teen having a bad trip. Overall, the image that comes to mind is that of a delusional patient in a psychiatric institute, struggling in a white cell to cope with the voices in his head.

Ol’ Man Hitler is not a bad album, not at all, I just don’t think I will listen to it again anytime soon. Listening to it is an interesting experience, and amateurs of noise music are going to be intrigued by the approach of the release. Overall, I believe this album could be best summarized as a simple home-made noise record, whose minimalism and moodiness will trip you out on your first try. I can only wonder if a sequel is coming up, and which direction it is headed.

     



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