Brooklyn duo Orphan’s debut album is a glorious cacophony of powersludge.
Anyone who lives in a city knows the terrible sound of a garbage truck’s rumble, waking you that crucial half hour earlier than your alarm is set. In the middle of the day, it wouldn’t be all that noticeable, but at 6 a.m., nothing could be more calamitous. Brooklyn duo Orphan has successfully harnessed that fearsome cacophony for their debut album, Aborted by Birth. Less invincible than Big Business and not as avant-garde as Lightning Bolt, Orphan’s take on bass/drums powersludge leaves exposed edges and ragged splinters. Brendan Majewski coaxes a series of voices out of his bass, from a menacing throb to an acid-scorched, rusty scythe, and Speck Brown transforms her drums into an arsenal of explosive charges. Tracks like the tottering “Doom Sum” and insistent “Penis Farm” are reminiscent of Sabbath, of course, but also recall the scuzzy gutter antiglamour of the somewhat neglected early-’90s noise scene.