This is the first time I’ve sat down to write in months. There’s no telling how it will go, but if I ever want to feel, again, some sense of accomplishment, some semblance of contribution, I must create something, right? And what better kick in the ass for this than a new White Suns record and video? And what better soundtrack to the current and perhaps everlasting uncertainty of the world? The prolific trio’s new single, “Ordinance,” the first off the lower way (out January 15 via Decoherence Records), is an opus of scree and static, the band’s own self-proclaimed “hybrid trash rock,” tumbling over and over itself in its attempt to destroy cognition.
A barrage of sputtering guitar feedback opens the track, violently gasping like a fish starved for air. A most minimal snare drum iterates again and again; it’s not so much a metronome as it is a doomsday clock. The whole thing is perpetually lurching, hurling, oscillating, as would the waking sounds of some primitive juggernaut, stretching its tired limbs; it’s Yeats’ rough beast making its way to Bethlehem, as cryptic vocals plead, “Crushed into a dead zone // Just out of frame, worn faces collect around archaic taps // Gaunt, starved of signal.”
And suddenly, all that’s left is the tinny snare and this sullen, maddening looping. The stillness of it teeters upon a precipice, the weight of the world leaning one way, then leaning more another way, then even more the first way. And, finally, guitar yuck hurls back in, epitomizing our plummet to doom. It irks and irks again in a ceaseless ill will of disquiet.
Accompanying visuals by Haoyan of America, depict a shaky and jarring view of America’s decrepitude. Shots of city traffic, both vehicular and bipedal, jerk to and fro in sort of manic fits, as discomforting and restless as though it’s our own bodies in perpetual motion. Contrasting desert rocks interrupt the hustle and bustle, though it’s not a reprieve as a seemingly nude figure traverses the crags, almost in conjunction with a city pigeon who simply cannot view the world right side up. None of this, visually or aurally, feels good, no, especially not together, and yet, it would all seem wholly validating of the collective anxiety of the world in its state. And that, in itself, is comforting. This is the best I have felt in months.