Abrasive noise-punkers DRI HIEV soundtrack ole’ fashioned ultra violence

Tuesday 06th, October 2015 / 11:30
By Sarah Kitteringham
Captivating Calgary quartet DRI HIEV released their ContraVirtual tape on September 23rd.  Photo: Sean Grisdale

Captivating Calgary quartet DRI HIEV released their ContraVirtual tape on September 23rd.
Photo: Sean Grisdale

CALGARY — “My plan was always to come to Calgary for music. Not necessarily for DRI HIEV, but for music.”

So begins Grande Prairie ex-pat Dan Auger, who plays guitar and does the drum machine programming for the relatively new quartet.

“Me, Kyle [Crough, bassist] and Carter [Crough, vocalist] were in another [noisy pop] band called The Bloody Circuits in Grand Prairie for a while, we did a couple of shows out of town, but I don’t know, me and Carter have always been fans of bands that come out of Calgary in general,” he says.

“Women, Chad VanGaalen, the Flemish Eye stuff in general. So we thought it’d be a big move, and we had no real plans to start DRI HIEV, but eventually we got that sorted out.”

They got DRI HIEV sorted out in a big way. After being joined by Calgarian Igor Gvozdenovic, who provides samples and synths, the band began playing, jamming, and recording. Only together since 2014, they’ve played multiple gigs, including a coveted opening spot at the #1 Legion for the incredible Lightning Bolt gig during Sled Island. Our writer Gareth Watkins dubbed their performance “discordant, anarchic and deeply funny,” adding that “singer Carter Crough’s non sequiturs between songs are worth the price of admission alone.”

The Sled gig seems like a full circle turn for a band who bizarrely sounds as if they are name-dropping the festival in their previous project: just check out the closing track of the Sad Boys EP they released as The Bloody Circuits. Midway through closing track “Post-Namers Piss,” it sounds as if Crough is shouting the festival name over and over.

But that’s never hear nor there… Particularly because, as DRI HIEV, they’ve got their debut release and it has little in common with their previous project. It’s a five-track EP dubbed ContraVirtual. Adorned with a cover depicting a myriad of obsolete cellphones, the EP was released on tape September 25th via Shake! Records in conjunction with Bunghole Records. Inside, you’ll find a good ole’ fashioned dollop of hard-to-define ultra violence; it’s disorienting and busy industrial noise punk with a wall of sound and frantic, shouted vocals. Tracks like “Felix Down” conjure up Big Black’s infamous “The Model” cover with the jackhammer, processed snare hits while a jarring riff gives the song a dance-inducing groove. Later on, the blip dominated industrial track “Amberman” featuring Edmonton “chipmusic” artist BOOSH! is overwhelming with its shrieks punctuating through the cascading sounds. Finally, the title track opens with a placid ring tone that raises hair on your neck before exploding. All told, it’s difficult to define, simply because there is so much going on.

So what does the band say?

“Really nice and aggressive without the macho bullshit.”

It may be vague, but it’s well suited to their unique melee.

DRI HIEV play Winnipeg on October 7th at Big Fun HQ, Saskatoon on October 8th at the Horse Club, October 9th in Calgary at Tubby Dog, and in Edmonton on October 10th at Bohemia. You can purchase their new tape ContraVirtual at the show or online.

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