Italian trio, guitarist, Xabier Iriondo (Afterhours); bassist, Andrea Lombardini; and drummer, Francesco Valente (Il Teatro Degli Orrori, Lume, Snare Drum Exorcism) once again join forces with untameable hell-raiser, Eugene S. Robinson (OXBOW), as BUÑUEL.
The third part of their trilogy, which started in 2016 with the guardrail-scraping malevolence of A Resting Place for Strangers, BUÑUEL followed it up in 2018 with the avant-garde cow-punk stomp, The Easy Way Out. Now the final piece of the puzzle is complete with Killers Like Us.
Described in their press release as “good music for bad people”, Killers Like Us combines the aesthetic of its two older siblings to finally form this vicious three-pronged attack. Essentially, it’s a new soundtrack to an outlaw biker gang that’s spent far too much time on class a drugs, drinking copious amounts whiskey and listening to High On Fire.
BUÑUEL derive from fierce, arcane sound worlds. Iriondo, a veteran of the Italian independent music scene, while Lombardini has also featured across many genres as artist, composer and producer. So, too, Valente – most notably as the driving force behind Italian rockers Il Teatro Degli Orrori.
Then there’s Robinson. The towering, no-nonsense bestial force who fronts the greatest avant-rock act on the planet in OXBOW. Unshackled by the free-form explorations of his primary band, alongside BUÑUEL, Robinson is like a human wrecking ball.
With each of these debauched-minstrels plucking ideas from different corners of the world, Killers Like Us is a melange of noise-rock, punk, metal and avant-garde. It’s one big feral spasm that ends this trilogy emphatically.
Hornets is like a song that stares down the devil and wins. A dead-eye rumble of sludge-laden drone and piercing feedback. From here the listener is well and truly locked in.
Merging cow-punk and noise-rock, tracks When God Used a Rope and A Prison of Measured Time are akin to nuclear warfare. In fact, Robinson hasn’t sounded more liberated on record. And this continues during It’s All Mine, which sees the band reaching for Goat-era Jesus Lizard like some stray mongrel in the woods hunting down its quarry.
Capturing the same strident intensity of A Resting Place for Strangers, Crack Shot and Roll Back are an out-of-control joyride on amphetamines. The curdling noise akin to the inevitable crash.
Meanwhile, Stocklock and When We Talk and For the Cops are crude sequences, as Iriondo’s serrated crunches and Lombardini’s filthy rhythms sound like they were conceived from an abandoned factory. Sinister swamp rock swoons that could only be delivered by a collective of musicians who’ve seen trouble.
And with that, we come to Even the Jungle. Alongside Hornets, the two combine to form the perfect bookends to Killers Like Us.
Marching through the sludge and slaying those who dare to obstruct his path, Robinson arrives at the summit and delivers a sermon like a degenerate god ushering their disciples (“I can hear the devil in the details and the song / And the water you can drink / The liquor you can’t / While I spend my time out here / Considering the ramifications / Of what exactly happens when a good man turns bad”).
It’s the perfect end to Killers Like Us. Music produced by unlikely bedfellows, but this is where the most valuable treasure is found, and here there’s a gold rush. A fearless head-charge into the dangerous terrains where BUÑUEL conquers all with pure harmonic rage.
Killers In Us is out Friday via Profound Lore Records / La Tempesta International. Purchase from Bandcamp.