A lot of what passes for noise rock nowadays is pretty much the opposite of what the genre name suggests. The music is watered down, the noise is toned down, and the “rock” is severely lacking. Gone is the golden age of the 1990’s, where bands like Sonic Youth, Big Black, and Swans shook and grinded against the ear drums of rock and roll purists. Besides a few active bands such as Boris and Pissed Jeans, who manage to up the racket with a healthy dose of swagger, noise rock is kind of a dying form of music. Recs of the Flesh, a new noise rock band with a two-member core busting from the boundaries of the Czech Republic, is aiming to change that. The group’s bio explains that the project came to be after vocalist and guitarist Massimo Usai felt a “sense of immediacy” to kick off a musical project after suffering the effects of a heavy fever and finishing a read-through of Burroughs’s “The Soft Machine”. That sounds like the mighty beginnings of an epically noisy and twisted musical endeavor, but unfortunately Recs of the Flesh’s second album, “The Threat Remains and is Very Real,” isn’t as cool as that story would make it out to be. The record is noisy, that’s for sure – but it could be a lot noisier, and it relies a lot on effects and sounds that have been done numerous times before by many earlier and greater bands before them. For every cool thing Recs of the Flesh does, it’s matched with something that could have been done without – kitschy vocal patterns, uninteresting guitar work, overdone effects, etc. It’s not bad by any means, but not anything that would have the band join the ranks of those that outshine them.

“The Threat Remains and is Very Real” begins with a promising track by the name of “Subliminal/Delusional”. The opening riff is hefty and crunchy, laden with overdrive-heavy pedal effects. It rips and it rumbles, as Usai gruffly half shouts, half sings the lyrics in a snotty sneer. The guitars bend and squeal with pitch harmonic grooves as the rapid drum work pushes it ahead with authority. This song is awesome, and gave me high hopes for the rest of the album. However, while some it’s good, a lot of it falls flat, possibly because it fails to match the novelty and intensity of the record’s first track. The following song, “The Threat” is good, but gets kind of kitschy in certain areas, like the background keyboard track that drives the song, and some of the vocal work. It does a good job of creating a thick atmosphere, presumably due to the use of a great deal of different instruments, but still somehow sounds a bit empty. Tracks like “Pictures” and “Headfake” are especial offenders of the use of effects that should be minimally utilized in modern rock, especially noise rock, such as delay and reverb, which both songs manage to employ to a sickening degree. Other songs, such as “Out-burst” and standout jam “Midnite Rush,” however, are done just right, exercising more of what made “Subliminal/Delusional” so radical, such as fast playing, heavily distorted bass that sounds like a chain rattling, and bratty, unforgiving vocal work. All in all, Recs of the Flesh know exactly how to write harsh noisy indie rock ala the mid 90’s, but delve too deep and too often into self-indulgent experimentation and unnecessary melody to capitalize and improve on their noisy core.