In the sort of documentary, sort of drama, Downtown 81, about New York's art and music scene in the early ’80s, the band DNA performs in a studio and it's super awkward and arty, manufactured aggression, like a weird art provocation more than a band. Just a year or two after that, Sonic Youth wrote the song "Burning Spear," titled in tribute to the heaviness of the dub legend interpreted through a bunch of guitar racket. Soon after that, Swans not only recorded a black hole of violent gurgle, but they called it "Raping a Slave." There is an evolving history of bizarreness translated into brutal, arty music and New York duo Talk Normal has kept an ear on this brand of sludgy dirge. "In a Strangeland" from their upcoming album on Rare Book Room, Sugarland, is heavy and loud. It's completely punishing in the simplest way, like they mic'd each other in a fight with baseball bats where their bones never break so they just keep swinging.
Download: Talk Normal, "In a Strange Land"