Sunday 15 October 2023

Squelch Chamber - Eater Of Self

 Labels: Self-Released/Bastard Premonition/Owlripper Recordings

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 12 Jul 2023


1. Organized Mental Crime

2. Practice What You Leech

3. The Steeple Is Falling

4. Pulled Guts

5. Down In The Deadlands

6. Eater Of Self

The whole blog/life balance thing has gone completely out the window recently. So much so that I'm finally getting round to listening to Squelch Chamber properly. The band has been on my radar for a little while now and seeing latest release Eater Of Self on the Owlripper Recordings bandcamp page finally did it for me. Squelch Chamber resides in Pennsylvania, USA and has been releasing music that combines noise-rock, industrial and punk since 2020. Eater of Self is the fifth full-length (I guess?) to come from the band since initial release Down So Low, in a catalogue that also includes three splits. Productivity is the name of the game here.

Sunday morning’s the perfect time to listen to some extreme noise-rock right? It certainly feels like it as ‘Organized Mental Crime’ goes from sludgy minimalism to bass-rumbling weirdness in unexpected fashion. Melodies aren’t really entertained here, instead you get AmRep/Chat Pile-esque noise with injections of hallucinatory substances and atonal torture.

Lots of other comparisons could be made when listening to Squelch Chamber but I think it’s better just to listen. ‘Practice What You Leech’ is layered with so much that it’s hard to take it all in. The noise elements ratchet up further, while the percussion underneath more than matches it. The vocals flick between pained semi-clean screaming and unhinged growling, while stoner/psych guitar riffs can be heard subtly through it all.

The hypnotic drone of ‘The Steeple Is Falling’ is soothing, especially after the opening two songs. That’s not to say it’s an easy listen; far from it, but it’s just delivered with greater restraint. Talking of drone, ‘Pulled Guts’ begins as a solely instrumental number and continues in the same vein, except for what sound like unnerving whispered vocals that float in and out of the recording. It’s latter half once again descends into maddening noise-rock.

The brief running time of penultimate song ‘Down In The Deadlands’ doesn’t prevent it from being nightmarish yet it does nothing to prepare you for that title-track. ‘Eater Of Self’ runs way beyond seventeen minutes and builds slowly. Ambient sounds are used to add suspense and that feeling doesn’t go away when the vocals, and instrumentation are thrown into the mix, as it feels like Squelch Chamber is gearing up for something big. 

The expectation of a big finale is slightly misplaced as Squelch Chamber continues to grow the song’s volume in layers, instead of hitting you with it all at once. It’s actually a really good way of keeping you hooked throughout and the whole album is meant to be listened to from beginning to end without a pause, which is rewarding. As subjective as music is, it’s also relatable no matter how extreme it is. Squelch Chamber lays down a new marker for noise-rock in extremis.

You can purchase Eater Of Self both digitally and on tape from Squelch Chamber below:-

Tape copies can also be purchased from Bastard Premonition here -

Name-your-price downloads are also available via Owlripper Recordings here -

Squelch Chamber -

Bastard Premonition - Tapes

Owlripper Recordings -

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