Justice Yeldham – Cicatrix (Sweat Lung) 2007


Schtick is an interesting thing and you have to admire anyone who thinks to himself, “Hey I know what I’m going to do! How about I attach some contact mikes to a piece of glass, then attach those mikes to an effects belt and then smear the glass all over my face and then yell into it! Won’t that be fun. It’ll make a whole bunch of really swell noises and get this dude … it is going to be so experimental that I will in fact be totally awesome. And sometimes the glass will break on my face and I will bleed and then I will bleed onto the glass and the sounds will be even more gnarly! And at the end of the performance I might just like .. . SMASH it on my head and I will bleed and sometimes I’ll bite some glass. Dude this will be so dangerous. Oh and by the way I’ll name myself after an Australian Supreme Court Judge who was falsely named in parliament as perhaps being interested in little boys and get this … the dude killed himself. How totally cool is naming yourself after a guy who kills himself like that. Dude! And then I’ll release a record and put a picture of band aids and blood smears because although it’s all about the music, blood and pain are my schtick.”

I’ve seen video of Justice Yeldham doing his thing on youtube. It’s pretty interesting and hey I’ll be honest it certainly got my attention. But if I’m being really honest, Cicatrix, for the most part, is pretty dull stuff. The highlights are the live stuff and sound checks that come towards the end of the disc. Some of those tracks especially the two pieces which I assume were recorded at the Chippendale Hotel in Sydney are actually pretty fucking good. But the initial couple of tracks are hands down some of the most boring noise I’ve heard in a while. As a noise disc it probably works well as performance art but I think that’s hardly the point. If the guy turns up in my town I’ll check him out but I doubt this disc is going to get very many more listens.

8 Responses to “Justice Yeldham – Cicatrix (Sweat Lung) 2007”

  1. i prefered this review

    “What initially sounds like a super distorted overblown recording of Hendrix playing his wild “Star Spangled Banner”, or a super grinding fuzz drenched synth noise psych rock blow out, or some insane ultra processed Japanese psychedelic solo guitar freakout, is in fact, a 40 something man, covered in blood, holding a huge piece of contact mic’ed broken glass in his mouth. Huh?
    Such is the musical world of Mr. Justice Yeldham. We weren’t sure what to expect actually, conceptually we were definitely intrigued. A guy who records himself smashing his face against panes of glass, moaning and humming into the glass resulting in all sorts of bizarre alien sounds, and often ending up with the glass shattering and much blood being shed. He had us at glass and blood. The cd sleeve is even a patchwork of bloodied band-aids (euwww).
    But when we finally got the disc, the sounds were just as amazing, maybe even more so than the process, which is definitely a rare occurrence. How many records have we gotten, where the story of the recording was way more fascinating that the resulting music? Way too many. The thing with this Yeldham disc, is it’s actually quite listenable as well. Ostensibly a noise record, the sounds here are anything but run of the mill noise, they range from strange fuzzy drones, wailing streaks of coruscating feedback, crumbling synth like blasts (parts of this almost sound like samples from the Justice record!), grinding gnarled squalls of super distorted buzz and every strange fuzzy buzzy stop in between. And every once in a while you have to remind yourself that THIS IS A GUY WITH HIS FACE PRESSED UP AGAINST A PIECE OF GLASS! A piece of glass that just may shatter at any second. And the more feverish and frenzied the sounds become, the more strain is placed on the glass, and the more imminent shatter and bloodshed becomes. So weird, and so goddamn awesome.
    Comes in a cool velour lined cd sleeve, adorned with images of band-aids and blood, inside a full color booklet with tons of photos of Yeldham performing live, amazing and intense, some weird, some strangely beautiful, some super disturbing, most of them really bloody!!

  2. “If the guy turns up in my town I’ll check him out”
    your from brisbane??? and you havn’t seen my act before gotta wonder if you like ‘noise’ music at all?, you must be oblivious to whats going on in australia if you havn’t come by my work in the last 15 years!!!! shit i used to live i your town and play local gigs all the time.

    what are your favourite australian acts anyhow?

  3. noisenoisenoise Says:

    Hey Lucas,

    You’re being a pretty good sport for what was a really bitchy post. Coming to Brisbane any time soon?

  4. hoping to come up in feb for a punk fest but may have engagements in europe at the time just waiting on confirmations at the moment

    would like you to review the act as intended live

    it was never my intention to be a recording artists but everybody wants a souvineer so i released my dull album i see noise music as a physical thing that works best in the live enviroment and personally never got into releases so im not too upset with the review even though i think its better than you described

  5. noisenoisenoise Says:

    Yeah it was a pretty bitchy review. But hey I’m not above being criticised. Pete Swanson thought I was a fool as well so you’re in pretty good company. I have the power to delete these comments and I don’t because how fucking precious do you have to be. I saw you doing the live thing on You Tube and as I said in the post it certainly got my attention. My post is a bit unfair because there is some pretty great stuff on Cicatrix but there is also a fair bit of stuff that just doesn’t work for me at all. I intend to see you when your next in town so you need to let me know. Work is a bitch and I don’t get access to the street press very often. Am I a bedroom nerd? If the criteria is an inability to go to noise shows then I guess I am. I have only been into “noise” for a couple of years. I bought Wolf Eyes Burned Mind on a whim and it took me a long time to get it. I then travelled via Black Dice, Sunn, Yellow Swans, Dead C, Birchville, Dilloway, Dead Machines, Skaters, Moth Dracula and a few others. Am I new to the genre. You fucking bet. Does it make my opinion less valid? No.
    I started this blog to try to describe to others just how good some of this “Noise” stuff is. I always struggled when reading reviews to get a handle on just what the music sounds like. The really great thing about starting this blog is being able to communicate to the musician’s themselves. Jesus, Michael Gerard from Killdozer has offered to sell me one of his copies of For Ladies Only through this blog. Some of this noise stuff works for me and some of it doesn’t Dilloway’s Bad Dreams really works for me. Yellow Swans collaboration with Birchville didn’t, yet I fucking love their individual stuff. The only Australian “noise” bands I know are you and Grey Daturas. So educate me. What do I buy next?

  6. well i personally wouldnt call the grey daturas a noise band in the stricter sense of the genre. as for australian noise.

    well loaclly in brisbane you should endevour to see
    the perfect lovers

    contact jamie hume at 4ZZZ for info on other stuff going on in brisbane right now as otherwise i’ld recommend botborg but half teh group is in europe right now.

    or maybe join AUS_NOISE forum on yahoo groupd for info on local shows.

    hostortically speaking my favorite australians are
    primative calculators

    currently worth looking inro

    oren ambarchi
    Absoluten Calfeutrail
    robin fox
    Blarke Bayer
    Bone Sheriff

    actually heaps more than this but im having trouble remembering all the names, to be honest i only know most of this stuff live as thats were i choose to cosume noise and dont collect any recordings at all. so cant vouch for them on tape.

  7. oh and personally i dont consider playing the glass a Schtick, its an instrument and i play it as such. as an instrument its more limited than a guitar etc and i must use considerable effort to create some of the sounds produced.

    i prefer the simplicity of these limitations as a physical organic way of making noise, than a tables full of effects pedals approach where its impossible to see the cause for the sounds your lsitening too.

    glad you pointed out that the live sets ‘were pretty fucking good’ as i’ve always felt a live audience makes me play better. however i tend to still like those studio tracks which was a totally new experience for me i only recorded for half a day to produce them and admit i can come up with something better but felt stifled by the studio atmosphere that day (first studio recordings). i guess i liked them because they ended up sounding completely different to any of the live sets that have been captured.

  8. noisenoisenoise Says:

    Yep with you on Thug. I completely forgot about them. It’s a real pity about the unavailability of all the Black Eye stuff. I managed to track down a compilation which was on EMI or something. Now SPK is a name I haven’t heard for a while. Thanks for the info I appreciate it.

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