Savage Aural Hotbed

Review in the Twin Cities edition of The Onion - by Christopher Bahn

Savage Aural Hotbed - The Unified Pounding Theory

You don't need a guitar. You don't need keyboards. You don't need any real instruments to make music. Just about any item you can grab makes an interesting noise when you bang on it. The important thing is imagination. Savage Aural Hotbed's been manufacturing noise since 1986*, inspired by both avant-garde industrial bands like Einstürzende Neubauten and Throbbing Gristle and more traditional (but no less flamboyant) Taiko drumming of Japan. Less than half of the instruments used on SAH's fifth disc, The Unified Pounding Theory, are the usual suspects: Instead of bass guitar or snares, the band uses plastic barrels, an air hammer, sump pump hoses, and a tractor muffler. This is industrial music in its most literal sense, constructed using industrial tools, although the Taiko element ensures that the sound is never wholly mechanistic. Hotbed's live show is always a hoot, a theatrically robotic affair often resulting in flying showers of sparks. On disc, the group might be most palatable with the album broken up into individual songs on an iPod shuffle. Magnificent as it often is, it's a very strong flavor, and you just don't eat an entire jar of wasabi in one sitting.
A.V. Club Rating: A-

* savage note, actually 1988