Florida’s experimental metalcore and heavy sound pioneers Neurotic November don’t merely slap their musical compositions together; they painstakingly construct them from bottom to top, and then add all the little peculiar sound adornments which make their songs so curiously idiosyncratic, so aurally fascinating, and so completely mind-blowing. Each element is evidently chosen with the utmost deliberation to be joined to the musical whole of a Neurotic November song; a practice which has made them both eccentric and diverse in sound, both bold and brilliant in musicianship, both creative and limitless in artistry, both anarchic and uncompromising in execution, but above all unapologetically experimental and lofty in their musical efforts. All of these traits are to be admired, of course, just as they are to be appreciated in the listening. And they are all traits which shine through the darkness surrounding Neurotic November’s all-new album and Victory Records debut Anunnaki.
Pinning down Neurotic November’s sound and subsequently inserting it into a musical category of some kind is a very difficult task. One can label them metalcore, hardcore, noisecore, or any one of the many –cores, but when it comes down to it, this band is all of them combined. So I simply refer to them as ultra-core. While this sort of music is something I wouldn’t normally appreciate, I find myself immensely enjoying Neurotic November’s Anunnaki album despite myself. I attribute this, in part, to the fact that the band’s musical idiosyncrasies are clearly genuine and not lame attempts at novelty and commercial appeal. Moreover, Neurotic November’s songs stay with you; they sink in deep and take up residence there, if only temporarily, just as any quality music ought to do. Then again, it’s probably more complicated than that…complicated appreciation for a band with a complicated sound. I mean, in the space of a single composition one can come across a number of different styles, not limited to but including ear-bleeding screamo, progressive metal, stompy hardcore, grindy noise rock, hyper thrash-punk, heavy-as-hell metalcore, hip hop, and so on—it’s an all-you-can-hear buffet for the ears.
No instrument wielded by this tremendously talented five-piece takes to the backseat when the Neurotic November vehicle of sound is in motion. Rather, they are, all of them, right in your face. Dexterous riffing, extraordinary lead work, clever note sequences, thick dirty muted progressions, and loads of perfectly placed chords—all come courtesy of Neurotic November’s six-string duo Nig and Yoshii. Not content to hide in the background hitting on the root notes which correspond to Nig and Yoshii’s guitar parts, Bear, the band’s kickass female bassist, spits on the basics and plays to impress, with highly adept and pronounced low-end feats. Paiste, the quintet’s drummer, is a master of the kit, whose explosive beats are incredibly tight, driven by the dual thunder of the double-kick, and marked by the occasional odd time signature. And then there’s Dirty, the voice of Neurotic November, whose vocal delivery is actually quite versatile as far as the heavy side of music goes, with unrestrained screams, deep rumbling growls, and a sort of wicked straining shriek. And of course he can lay down flowing raps as good as any rapper I’ve come across throughout the years, only Dirty kicks it to real music, heavy music, not turntable-produced sound bytes and computer-regurgitated samplings.
Neurotic November’s Anunnaki is scheduled for an October 29th release through Victory Records. And if you’re into heavy music with a decidedly different flavor than the music made by other such bands, this one is definitely for you. Listen for yourself to the wonderful madness that is experimental ultra-core, that is Neurotic November, that is Anunnaki. This strange quartet really has something here, and there is little doubt that they will go places with it.