(Chattanooga Pulse) After being acquainted as performers in Kid Millions’ percussion juggernaut Man Forever, guitarist Peter Aaron—best known as the front man of the raw punk-blues band Chrome Cranks—and drummer Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs discovered a chemistry together when duetting at the close of a group improvisational show at the Brooklyn space Secret Project Robot. And by “chemistry,” this writer isn’t referring to a comfortable, complacent affinity but instead a violent and explosive chemical reaction.The blistering 9-track mini-album Purges from the Peter Aaron / Brian Chase duo on the Public Eyesore label alternates between five numbered “Purge” tracks and specifically named pieces from completely improvised sessions recorded in 2013. These “Purge” interludes are nothing like traditional interludes, employing a perverse idea of palate-cleansing—it’s like eating a bit of wasabi instead of sliced ginger between sushi samples. For example, after the complicated number “Rolling,” with multi-level, face-melting noise with piercing high-frequency shards, ghostly drones and a woozy atmosphere, “Purge 2” emerges with its veil of effects lifted but with a flurry of irregular taps and hi-hat-pedal stomps among scrambling guitar notes. “Space” offers a growing tidal wave, resembling a complex, hulking and unstoppable maelstrom that lumbers along, burying Chase’s snare drum rolls; perhaps resembling an awe-inspiring UFO takeoff, “Delay” envelopes its surroundings and offers a primitive pounding that increasingly becomes more frantic. The sonic equivalent of a wayward, stained pillow shot in the form of “Purge 4” follows with chaos and demented ride-cymbal tapping and ends with squeals and skeleton-dance snare drum hits. Free improv fans who are searching for something ferocious or noise-rock fans who are open to something that isn’t rock at all may very well react positively to and tightly bond with the intense synthesis captured on Purges. - Ernie Paik
(Sound Projector) Fine blast of art-noise with a punky edge from the Peter Aaron / Brian Chase Duo, an American pair of seasoned players who only met up a few years ago in 2013. On the same occasion as their first live outing, they also booked a recording session at an old church in Hudson NY and recorded Purges (PUBLIC EYESORE 134), an intensive set of vigourous music created by means of guitar, drums and electronics. The longer tracks with names like ‘Space’, ‘Rolling’ and ‘Swirl’ are more easy to locate in the improv-exploratory noise zones, and they are sandwiched in between the numbered ‘Purge’ blasts, which are short punky guitar explosions usually around a minute in length – clearly the players intending to “purge” themselves of all bodily poisons with a voiding, puking action. It’s impressive to hear this much confidence and swagger on a debut, but the pair have long histories; Peter Aaron, from Cincinnati but known in New York and New Jersey, was the guitarist and singer with punk band The Chrome Cranks in the 1990s, whose records are described elsewhere as “Garage Rock” and are hopefully edgy and nasty affairs of angrified electric bombardment. Chrome Cranks were pretty successful, with eight albums, lots of tours, and an MTV appearance. Aaron was also in Sand In The Face, who made one hardcore punk LP in 1986. As for Brian Chase, he’s the drummer with Yeah Yeah Yeahs (New York alt-rock band since 2000), and has duetted with Alan Licht, Andrea Parkins, and made an experimental drumming-drone record for Pogus Productions. I’d like to think that it’s these credentials that make Purges such a compelling listen, a thrilling combination of raw punk attack with ideas about sound art and improvisation…the label is equally enthused, emphasising the loud volume of their sets, and the “rare uncanny telepathy” that the two share, enabling them to set up and start playing without any fussing over sound checks and balancing levels. The digipak sleeve includes a photo of the boys in action, confirming once again you can always trust a guitarist who wears a suit. The front cover may look a bit of a mess, but it’s an image of a broken lightbulb (a motif picked up on the other artworks) which, along with the acidic colours of the printing, does much to suggest the violent power of this music. Very good - Ed Pinsent
(Kathodik) Nove veloci deturpazioni senza l'ausilio di un anestetico adeguato. L'elettrica e gli effetti di Peter Aaron (dallo sballo traditional/alterato Chrome Cranks), pelli/legni/metalli (plus uno sputo d'elettronica) di Brian Chase (dai più fighetti Yeah Yeah Yeahs). A darsele sparse e frontali in questo simpatico mini lp, registrato nel 2013 a New York nella sala di Patrick Higgins (Zs). Free (rock) noise da devasto immediato, fra inneschi di licantropici effetti Larsen, scatafasci percussivi e riffanze brute in avanzato degrado scomposto (i resti sparsi, calpestati e pisciati). Registrazione aliena e malsana come da prassi. Telepatici e sfrigolanti quel che basta. Un poco anche nostalgia canaglia. - Marco Carcasi
(Chain DLK) I was familiar with Chase’s work with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Aaron’s work in Chrome Cranks, so I was interested to see how it all came together. Duos often run the risk of sounding too stripped down, so let’s see what happens when you throw Brian Chase on drums and Peter Aaron on guitar. From the opening track this duo comes out swinging. “Purge 1” is noisy as hell and a good time. Hard to believe that this much racket is coming from two people. “Rolling” keeps it noisy. High pitched noise and feedback in full effect. Eventually the drums come in and like the first purge, it keeps up with the noise. Purge 2 brings back the freewheeling improvisation with the guitar and drums both trying to solo for different songs at the same time. On “Space,” drums takes center stage here, with the guitar providing more of a wavering whine that gets more intense as the track progresses, like listening to Buddy Rich in a hornet’s nest. “Purge 3” lays down more of the raw improvisation that I am really enjoying. “Delay” uses its namesake to create an intense wall of sound. If you like it noisy, these guys deliver in this track. “Purge 4” gives us machine gun drums over guitar feedback. On “Swirl,” they take turns sharing the spotlight as Chase beats the hell out of the drums, and then steps aside for Aaron on guitar, before they both decide to unload with both barrels together before slowing down to something almost resembling calm, if it weren’t for the feedback. “Purge 5” almost sounds like a 4-track demo tape of a punk band trying out a new song. Overall, this was fantastic. I give it a rating of “hell yeah,” and highly recommend this. I would go see this duo perform live because I would guess that it would be intense. This is serious improvisation, and Chase and Aaron have fissured out how to make this work while sounding like complete chaos. Well done. This album weighs in at around 23 minutes.