Way back when I was in school I studied Samuel Beckett's “How It Is.” My professor and mentor has a theory about that book. Long story short: he thinks that the novel is a dramatic portrayal of human beings being literally digested through the bowels of the universe. There are one or two moments of “The Clever” which make me think of it as being a sonic equivalent.
Somewhere well on the conventional side of The Melvins is where you'll find Ultraphallus, though they do pull out some pretty weird shit here and there, keeping their moments of sustained elegance lively. The last half or so of “Boulder Dash” is a great example, featuring some massive, turning swells of digestive noise to accompany the main groove . Still, this is pretty standard fare all in all, but if you love metal it'll probably be worth your while to check it out. Though I'm not a big fan of it (or any of its sub-genres), I find myself taking a shine to this. Whether it be the Brancaesque guitar tempest at the end of “Thrombosis” or the 8 pulsating minutes of “Clever Worm,” there's a lot to behold here. “Clever Worm” may be the strongest, most intensely focused track on the disc. It's a simple but effective semi-demi-grindcore meditation laced with back-mixed saxophone strung around the track like—nooooo, not entrails—like Christmas tree garland. And that angel up on top of the tree, the one with the smile on its face? That's right. It's getting fucked. By Ultraphallus.
Nice, cathartic buzz here, and though I doubt I'll be listening to it a year down the road, it serves its temporal purposes quite well. 8/10 -- P. Somniferum (19 November, 2009)