BandCampWes: White Suns Make Comeback, Noise

The “gnarliest, ugliest crew from Death By Audio’s scum-sucking nu-pigfuck scenedrop second LP.

It’s been far too long since I’ve contracted chronic tinnitus on this benighted campus (guys: remember Insanity Weekend a year ago?), but here’s a gesture from the Great Alumni Beyond: White Suns, the punishingly dense noise rock project of Wes experimental/noise/whatever overlord Dana Matthiesen ’09 and friends, just dropped Sinews, its second LP, on Load Records. Olive Music describes the loosely apocalyptic record as “teeming with suffocating percussion, unnerving cries, and unidentifiable squall both surreal and brash,”  which I’d call fairly accurate: this is Real Good Shit, swamped in blistering pools of feedback and sludge. Fans of noise and hardcore, take note.

Matthiesen (whom you may also recognize from solo project Cancer Dance) is the only Wes alumnus involved, but White Suns has nonetheless performed on campus a handful of times in recent and not-so-recent memory—most notably for PUNK@DKE just last April. You can stream Sinews at Spin and East Village Radio—the former not only describes it as “a joyless churn painted in a dozen shades of grey,” but also manages to incorporate the phrases “Jesus-Lizard-on-rabies” and “hunger for ugly” (high-five for music criticism!). Almost but not quite as good as “scum-sucking nu-pigfuck scene.”

Scroll on for a YouTube embed and a brief email interview with Matthiesen.

Where did White Suns originate?

White Suns started before i matriculated, so there’s no other direct involvement stemming from Wesleyan kids. It was myself and some other people (Kevin and Rick) from my hometown who shared an interest in noise music and a lot of the stuff being promoted by indie music writers in the earlier half of the 2000s (Wolf Eyes, Load Records shit, No Fun Fest, etc).

What kinda music were you involved with at Wes?

My interest in noise/extreme music hasn’t really let up since then and that was basis for most of my interactions with the music scene at Wesleyan. I had a project with Brendan O’Connell ’08, who was a grade ahead of me, called JOCK JAMS. It was something of a spirit marines tribute band. We opened for White Mice and an Arab On Radar side project at Eclectic once. also Magik Markers at the campus center back when your ‘science studies building’ was the old campus center (best tuna salad subs there, not to mention a vegan place). White Suns played Wesleyan a few times while I was attending. I ran the WestCo Cafe one year and would throw shows there. Since graduating, we’ve played at Eclectic twice (’09 and ’11) and my solo project, Cancer Dance, came through once or twice as well. Good times…

When/where did you record this record?

We recorded this album back in May or June of last year. At that time, our first LP had just come out on a label called ugEXPLODE—which I recommend for all fans of music—and it took some time before anyone cared enough to put out another record. Our friend Ben Greenberg did a bang-up job behind the board, by the way.

Favorite memory of noise music at Wes?

Impromptu public spectacles were one of the more enjoyable parts of going to school with these kids. I remember once helping a friend’s Crass cover band run cable to the bottom of Foss Hill to play for an unenthusiastic flock of sunbathers.

Here’s one more: the Omnitards playing the science building.

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