Tag Diving: SKRONK

Tag diving is like dumpster diving. But instead of digging through garbage and finding a perfectly fine half of a sandwich that’s only a little bit completely covered in mold, I browse a tag on Bandcamp and share neat music with you. Today’s tag: SKRONK!

We’re all familiar with the term skronk. We like when things skronk. When things don’t skronk, we wish they did. It is a good thing. However, its origins do not lie with metal. Googling the term tells us that it’s used to describe basically any discordant sound or style made with instruments. It seemed to be used well before metal to denote styles built on that sense of discord and dissonance, and was mainly associated with avant-garde jazz or noise rock. I started down this rabbit hole through noticing the “skronk” tag on the recent, excellent Replicant EP. This isn’t a history lesson on skronk; I’m only mentioning this because I found very little metal when browsing that particular tag on Bandcamp. I did, however, find a bunch of weird junk that some of you dorks might like.

Let’s start by completely losing our minds with Yatagarasu. Other genre tags include “chipcore/NES,” which sounds like something I would hate for no reason. As soon as I clicked play on “Literal Salt Lake,” however, I was filled with an intense urge to grind my Super Nintendo into dust, snort it, and jam the controllers into my eyes (in a good way). This is glitchy, spastic electronic madness at its best, with lo-fi vocals hatefully blared within the chaos. It skronks hard.

Next up is Mothguts, the self-described “jazz-grind bastards” from New Jersey. Listening to “Come To My Spaceship” confirms that description pretty much immediately, and we get a sense for the sort of discord that birthed the term skronk back in the day. Throughout the album, the guitar and saxophone do everything they can to avoid each other while simultaneously colliding at full force. Wig out to some of these shorter tracks, then go on an almost sludge-like skronk journey with “Jamaican Horror Show.”

Babies are strictly prohibited from our next selection, the self-titled album from No Babies (look, I’m a dad now, I’m required to make terrible transition jokes). Imagine someone mixing raw, middle-fingers-blazing punk rock with just a dash of nasty noise rock, but then the cap on the noise rock container fell off and now we’re left with an unusable glop of angry garbage. Well, as it turns out, that garbage is perfect and it just so happens to pair very well with that old, cheap beer you smashed on your forehead. I’m not going to pretend that everyone will like this band, but it really grew on me as I listened through the album, and I don’t think I’ve heard anything skronk quite this hard.

Alright, we need some metal. One of the very few metal acts I came across while browsing the skronk tag was Canada’s Octexosis. This mysterious outfit may or may not be linked to Hermit Cult, which may or may not have been featured in another TovH article, both which may or may not involve a member of the Toilet community, but who’s to say. Anyway, we’ve got tons of beautifully written counterpoint between overdriven bass and meandering guitar, all while the very convincingly programmed drums usher the madness along. Instrumental metal can very easily be lost with me, but this is some seriously compelling stuff that more than earns the hallowed title of SKRONK.

Lastly, we’ll cap this with Drama Section. This is for big jazz boys only, but there is a healthy dose of heavy in certain sections. Honestly, I may disagree with the skronk tag on this, but I’m glad it was there because this album was a gem for me. It doesn’t wander into discordant noise too often, but it more than satisfies as a beautifully crafted modern jazz album with plenty of creative elbow room.

So what did we learn from this article almost devoid of metal? Well, we don’t hold exclusive rights to our beloved skronk term, unfortunately. But there’s a lot of great harsh and challenging music out there to discover, and that’s pretty much the reason most of us exist. Secondly, if you’re not active on Bandcamp, you’re missing some of the best opportunities for exposure to new music. Thirdly, nearly all of the albums featured here are for a name-your-price download. So get out there, and get weird.

Written by:

Published on: July 27, 2016

Filled Under: Don't Miss This!, Metal

Views: 929

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

  • Dubbbz

    I guess I can’t click on Drama Section since I’m just a little jazz boy.

    • Stockhausen

      DON’T U DARE

  • Guacamole Jim

    I really, really like that Yatagarasu, in the weirdest way. It’s what I imagine hatefucking pikachu would sound like.

    • RustyShackleford

      It really felt like something I shouldn’t like but I totally jam. Shit is straight demented and I dig.

      • Stockhausen

        I feel you guys. I wanted to hate it, but it was so maddeningly odd I needed more.

    • xXEmooKiddXx

      If you like that, you may enjoy some of this mess:

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    “So what did we learn from this article almost devoid of metal?”

    We need more metal.


    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      In all seriousness, this was a cool read. Though not my particular style of music, you’re descriptions were fun.

      • Stockhausen

        We always need more metal. Thanks dude!

  • Joaquin Stick

    I am certainly not a big jazz boy, but Drama Section is doing it for me. Nice digging Stock. This is still my favorite skronk song though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w-58hQ9dLk


    • Stockhausen

      It is the only trve skronk song.

  • Hubert

    S K R O N K

  • All this skronk makes me want to move my body.

    More stocky>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



    • RustyShackleford



    • Stockhausen


      • May Trace Adkins songs remain forever crammed up your butt.


  • have u guys herd of this obscure band called Artificial Brain??? i bet u wud like them

    • I was never really sold on that band, until I saw them live.

    • Phil Zepain

      Artificial Brain took me time too. But it was worth the effort !

  • JWEG

    I one did a tag dive on “Cascadian black metal”.

    If I ruled bandcamp with an iron fist, I’d start by banning any atmospheric black metal band that used any variation of the ‘Cascadian” tag if they live outside of B.C, Washington, or Western (non-desert) Oregon.

    …and maybe Northern California, but only a bit of it.

    The worst two offenders were British and Greek, respectively.


  • RustyShackleford

    Mothguts (and a little bit of Drama Section) remind me of the band Naked City in the best way possible. Anyone seen the film Funny Games? Good shit. Yep.


    • I got a nice laugh out of that when they used Naked City in the soundtrack. Hope it startled some normies.

      • RustyShackleford

        lol normie startling AM I RITE?!?!

        • What is this rubbish in my Naomi Watts flick?

  • You definitely have to sift through a substantial amount of garbage when browsing by tags in BC. The amount of intolerable goregrind bands that come up when you put in grindcore. You can usually tell that its crap from the awful cover art. If you are brave enough to click play, you can be sure the music will sound like it was recorded in an actual toilet.

  • JWEG

    – Yatagarasu nearly made the speaker output on my laptop die a violent squeaky death

    – Mothguts is sweet. I feel like I should listen to it, then Kurishimi, then it again

    – No Babies is similarly neat. I suppose given the song title I should find a Tanuki Suit to wear while listening, though.

    – Enjoyed the first few minutes of Octexosis. Will listen to more later.

    – I left my Big Jazz Boy Pants at home, so I’ll have to wait until later to try that last one I guess.

  • Farts In A Maggot Factory

    Liking the Yatagarasu stuff. Sounds dead on like Crystal Castles outside of the vocals.


  • Hans Müller

    Journeys like this are so much fun. I’m thankful for Bandcamp; it reminds me of the days of peer-to-peer filesharing software that allowed you to browse the hard drives of the users you came across. Such a fun way to find new, often weird stuff. Entire genres (well, one in my case) were discovered that way.

    One act from back then that Literal Salt Lake reminded me of:

    • Stockhausen

      That was rad and demented. Nice!

  • Lost it at Snorting the SNES. Must listen later.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Here’s some “Big Jazz Boys” material for you. I think it has some stealthy skronk…

    • Stockhausen

      That’s a cool tune, and a cool video.

  • Hans Müller

    Big jazz is for jizz bags lolololol

  • Waynecro

    This was a really fun article to read, and the bands you found are interesting. Thanks! It isn’t skronky, but here’s a weird chiptune/metal band I kinda like:

  • Count_Breznak

    Mothguts are like some sane, sleepy version of psychofagist. Not bad.