Nashville, Tennessee’s powerviolence duo THETAN announces the October release of their volatile Grand Ole Agony LP through their own Anti-Corporate Music. The album features a wide array of guest contributors and exposes the band’s most exploratory musical excursions to date.
Raging through the South and East Coast since 2011, THETAN has been a force of nature in the punk and metal worlds as well as crossing over to work with iconic hip-hop emcees such as Kool Keith, Ultramagnetic MC’s, and LIL B. Mixing early hardcore with West Coast powerviolence and sprinkling in the dark musical sensibilities of 1990s European black metal, THETAN has created a crushing brand of hardcore that grinds and devastates listeners before plunging them into nerve shattering psychedelia on their new full-length, Grand Ole Agony.
On Grand Ole Agony, THETAN’s Chad L’Eplattenier (drums, theremin), and Dan Emery (bass, theremin, vocals, mountain dulcimer) take their craft to another sonic dimension. The album opens with nightmarish soundscapes which give way to a monologue by legendary Tennessee rap icon Crunchy Black of Three 6 Mafia, followed by an explosion of speaker rupturing distorted bass and unrelenting drum blasts. What follows is over thirty minutes of uncompromising sonic abuse, delving into the depths of the human psyche, loss of companionship, and the death of a solar system. Grand Ole Agony also features critically-acclaimed, highly decorated jazz trumpeter Mac Gollehon – noted for his work with David Bowie, Blondie, Onyx, among thousands of others, as well as David Brenner of avant-garde industrial/noise artist Gridfailure, providing intense soundscapes and tortured vocals and dissonance. Delivering haunting string accompaniments are Leslie Fox-Humphreys a.k.a. Americana/folk soloist The Bandit Queen Of Sorrows on cello and Ashley Mae of Lost Dog Street Band on violin, and Benjamin Tod of Lost Dog Street Band provides harmonica.
Grand Ole Agony was recorded by THETAN, with all post-production including mixing, mastering, and an animated etching on the vinyl version of the album handled by Dan Emery at Black Matter Mastering. The album is completed with cover art by Kristen Ferrell and photography by Ericka Poore and Joseph Wyman.
With the lead single and opening track from Grand Ole Agony, “God’s America,” Emery writes, “Growing up in the south I’ve dealt with ignorant assholes and their proud bravado ‘patriotism’ for as long as I can remember. In the early 2000s it hit a fever pitch, and everyone was on some serious, ‘If you aren’t one of us, fuck you,’ mentality. It really molded my attitude and reinforced my rebellious nature as I entered adulthood. Being into angsty music was beginning to have real life purpose. This song is a cynical reflection of that misplaced pride that has been creeping up in the common American psyche more and more over the past few years. This is a disgusting song about a disgusting mindset that we just can’t seem to escape.”
Grand Ole Agony Track Listing:
1. God’s America
2. Blackened Inside
3. White Sheets Blowing In The Breeze
4. Bless Your Heart
6. Sad Endings And A Feeling Of Disappointment
7. Coup De Grace
9. Note To Self
Additional videos and audio previews of Grand Ole Agony will be issued over the weeks ahead.
Following a recent East Coast tour with labelmates Armagideon Time, THETAN continues to play frequently throughout their home region, with more extensive tour plans in the works for later this year.