Nov 062019


Nearly three years ago we premiered the debut two-track EP of the Swiss band Charlene Beretah, whose name is in part a tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket and the appelation that Private Gomer Pyle bestowed upon his M14 rifle, the one he ultimately used as the instrument of his own destruction. At that time a duo who performed their music using only guitar and drums, the band deployed elements of crust, sludge, black metal, and doom to create sensations of wrenching devastation. We summed it up this way: “Negative, ruinous music for negative, ruinous times, both songs push you toward the abyss, but Charlene Beretah are good at what they do; you may go willingly.

In the years since then the original two-some, Charlene Petit and Thierry Beretah, have been joined by a third marauder, Jean Goisse, and they have also completed work on a debut album named Ram — which does indeed hit like a massive battering ram. It’s supremely destructive. And it also does really nasty things to your mind, and to whatever sense of emotional balance and comfort you might enjoy. It makes an enormous first impression, something like the bomb crater left by a megaton warhead in the midst of dirty urban streets, and the smoldering rubble it makes of a listener’s mental and emotional health isn’t easily reassembled or easily forgotten.

Ram will be released on November 8th by Division Records, but we’re detonating the whole damned thing right now. Continue reading »

Dec 012016



Let’s have a show of hands:  How many of you are fans of Stanley Kubrick’s film Full Metal Jacket? Well, quite a lot of you, though I can’t say I’m surprised. Now, raise your hand if you remember the name that Private Gomer Pyle gave his M14 rifle, the one he ultimately used as the instrument of his own destruction. Not quite as many… but those of you who remembered “Charlene” got it right.

The band whose debut EP we’re premiering today remember it, too — the name they chose for themselves, Charlene Beretah, is a tribute to that movie. And their music turns out to be just as dark, depraved, and depressive. In fact, the EP’s name is Depraved / A Very Long Week, which combines the names of the two songs you’ll find there. Continue reading »