Album Review: DRUMGASM – Drumgasm




The moniker DRUMGASM says a lot more than you might think. It tells you that this is not its creators’ most serious project, yes, but that doesn’t say much. It could mean that Zach Hill, Janet Weiss, and Matt Cameron just wanted to set the bar low for an honest, flawed, and fun experimental effort. But, actually, it’s even simpler than that. This is not a professional attempt at a one-off collection of rock songs from an all-drummer supergroup, and it’s not an experiment to see what kind of chemistry three stylistically diverse drummers can find on the fly. This is the musical equivalent of three people sitting in a room and furiously masturbating on camera for 40 minutes, rarely lending each other a hand. In two 20-minute halves.

Drumgasm is an antagonistic free-for-all born of no structure, very little clear rhythm, even less consideration of each player’s spontaneous ideas, and buckets upon buckets of sweat. The sheer hubris here is confrontational enough, but its most abrasive aspect is in the anticlimax of three similarly accomplished players in alternative music joining forces to deliberately engage in a technical prowess game in which they aren’t equals. Surely, Weiss and Cameron are capable of an album’s worth of valuable, inspired collaboration. Instead, only about 30 seconds of every few minutes offer reined-in, reasonably discernible grooves before Hillian blitzkrieg wipes out everything. It’s aggressively tasteless, and still impressive.

Here are a few questions you’ve probably answered more than once in the past 12 months, whether you realize it or not: Do you like Zach Hill? How much do you like Zach Hill? Would you willfully read a title written on a boner just for the full experience of his latest album with Death Grips? Would you stand in front of a presumably authentic suicide note projected on a wall for hours while his recorded music plays overhead, just for the full experience of his honest-to-god idea of performance art? Would you try to make sense of this? Would you? Great! Drumgasm probably still isn’t for you. But it might just make you like him even more.

Essential Tracks: N/A