BROWN JENKINS are a rather odd beast. Combining the suicidal-BM styling of XASTHUR with a much more sinister, doomy aesthetic, these dudes have came up with something that's completely inhumane, quite otherworldly and sinister, but also somewhat boring.
Strange, twisted doom riffs abound here. The fuzzy guitar tone brings to mind NADJA, everything else about this brings to mind DARKTHRONE being covered by stoned Shuggoths. The incredibly distorted production helps this a great deal, but it's also the guitar riffs- everything has this queasy, disturbing aspect to it, almost like being seasick. It's hard to describe, but it's extremely powerful and unsettling.
Unfortunately, like many bands with a unique sound, BROWN JENKINS screws up by finding a unique sound/atmosphere and just plugging at it relentlessly. For the first few minutes you'll likely be 'hey cool, this is really crushing and atmospheric'. For the rest of the album, however, you'll be bored. Sure, it's powerful- the riffs a unique mix between massive Doom riffs, suicidal BM and strange dissonance- but it just goes on and on, without any sense of structure or songwriting. The doom riffs are powerful but just seem to go on and on without any set of direction. The bleary, super fuzzy production and overall lack of dynamics also don't help much- sure, they generate heaps of atmosphere but they also make it all very samey.
Yeah, that's pretty much all I have to say about this album. It seems like these guys know what they're going for, but there's just not enough variety to keep me interested. A unique sound, but certainly not an essential one. It will be interesting to see where they go in the future, though.
(Online March 6, 2008)