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Coilguns and Kunz is a split CD between two new Swiss bands, both of which feature members of The Ocean - guitarist Jona Nido, drummer Luc Hess and bassist/vocalist Louis Jucker in the former, and Jucker/Hess in the latter. With Pelagic Records owned by The Ocean's Robin Staps, there's very much a "keep it in the family" vibe at play here, affording his bandmates the opportunity for their side-projects to reach a wider audience (in a distinctly underground sense, of course, by the very nature of the music). So what of Coilguns? The press sheet mentions the likes of Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan which kind of hits the proverbial nail on the head. Jucker's hardcore screams, emanating a sense of despair, open proceedings on 'Mastoid' as drums, bass and guitar kick in on the second beat of the bar in a heavy-as-fuck, up tempo manner that assaults your senses head-on from the off and with little let-up during the near three minute duration the track. And they fill that short time with a whole gamut of intense riffage, technically accomplished drumming in changeable, yet fluent, time signatures, ever so brief flourishes of masterful lead guitar licks that segue between the riffing and some thunderously pounding bass. Get the picture? 'Phersu' and 'Kachinas' are much in the same vein although the former, with its longer playing time of over five minutes, descends into a lengthy down-tempo passage during its second half as a neat contrast to the wildly up-tempo section that precedes it.

Kunz are a different beast altogether. Here, we are talking mainly down-tempo grimy sludge metal. Hess' drumming takes a much more experimental turn on these four tracks as he beats out progressive rhythms, albeit minimalist in execution, with the accompaniment of Jucker's baritone guitar, bass and aggressive vocals. Imagine Motörhead on LSD (if that would even affect Lemmy) having a late night jam to exorcise any repressed angst in their unconscious and that's sort of what Kunz sound like. Innovative, yet stripped down, instrumentations are rife in what effectively sounds like a series of improvised pieces, albeit maintaining a sense of structure throughout. If you wanted a label for this, then prog-sludge would probably suffice. With a playing time of just under 23 minutes, the whole thing's over before you know it so I eagerly await full-length releases from both to see what they're really capable of. Based on the few tracks on offer here, though, both acts promise so much.
Pelagic Records
Review by Mark Holmes
26th Sept 2011
COILGUNS: 1) Mastoid; 2) Phersu; 3) Kachinas
KUNZ: 1) Flow; 2) Apnea; 3) Flush; 4) What Makes Me Sleep
"Imagine Motörhead on LSD (if that would even affect Lemmy) having a late night jam to exorcise any repressed angst in their unconscious and that's sort of what Kunz sound like."