Couch Slut – You Could Do It Tonight

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Couch Slut have created a modern noise rock masterpiece with You Could Do It Tonight, one that should be giving Chat Pile a run for their money. But this isn’t just noise rock, this is noise rock meets sludge, meets hardcore and has elements of black metal thrown in for good measure. Megan Osztrosits delivers raw, unhinged vocals that tell tales of substance abuse, self harm, BDSM, murder, sexual assault, suicide and more, and all with a morbid sense of humour. Prepare for massive bass, highly varied guitar that ranges from fuzzed out to biting and mathy, hypnotically rhythmic drums and incredible production courtesy of Uniform’s Ben Greenberg.

Artist: Couch Slut
Album: You Could Do It Tonight
Label: Brutal Panda Records
Release Date: April 19, 2024
Location: New York, NY, USA

Written by James Sweetlove

I’m sure that many of you came across this album the same what that I did, seeing the name “COUCH SLUT” pop up somewhere, laughing and thinking “what the hell is that?” Then seeing the album art and thinking “okay I definitely need to see what this is,” and finally after hearing the first track wondering “…where has this been all my life?” Put into quantitative terms, this is music that lives up to both its name and its aesthetic, music that comes across as completely unhinged but actually has an impressive level of complexity and nuance to it.

For me this was my introduction to NY’s Couch Slut, so I had been living a life bereft of their unique blend of sludge, noise rock and hardcore punk with elements of black metal thrown in at just the right moments. Rather than trying to describe their sound myself, I’ll let the band do it for me, calling themselves “putrid, drug-fueled gutter rock from the filthy streets of NYC.” But I suppose that doesn’t really describe their sound, so for those who like FFOs, the band will heavily appeal to fans of Chat Pile, but will also tick a lot of boxes for fans of bands such as Oxbow and Jesus Lizard.

For me a key factor that makes the album so powerful are the vocals, for which we have Megan Osztrosits to thank. Her style is as powerful as it is raw, with a shrill shrieked delivery, conveying a mix of rage, pain and sorrow in equal measures. If you enjoy noise rock vocals that are intended to instill a certain level of discomfort in the listener then you will love what is being done here. As can be expected with a noise rock release we have killer sound bites, audio samples and spoken segments used to make the whole experience more immersive and engaging.

Taking full advantage of these vocals, the band use them to deliver some incredibly well written lyrics. Here again the band mix things up, talking about substance abuse, self harm, BDSM, murder, sexual assault, suicide and more but they mix things up, at many points working through both a story telling vehicle and through morbid humour. One such example of their sense of humour is the opening line to track 4. The Donkey , “Here’s what happened when my friends and I got fired from the haunted waterpark.” I’m also going to give you this gem with no context from track 6. Energy Crystals for Healing, “A crushed cock in a tiny wire cage.” Now if you want to know what they were talking about you will have to go listen to the track.

Instrumentally the album is even more diverse than its themes and concepts, drawing influences from all over the underground spectrum. The album gets his heaviness and fuzz from its sludge influences, but the complexity and bite comes from its noise rock side. Working groove and power into this mix we look to the band’s hardcore elements. Then we have some depressive atmosphere and some killer riffs and guitar tone that very clearly comes from black metal. The result of all of this influences is an album that never really stops changing and shifting, no two tracks sound exactly the same and even within each song, there is a crazy amount of variety and experimentation.

The guitar tone on the release is simply amazing, varying from fuzzed out sludge heaviness to biting shrill black metal tones, but with the mathier, more discordant tones that add much of the album’s auditorily assaulting qualities being drawn clearly from a noise background. Backing this up is the bass which has an absolutely massive sound on this album, sharing the stage in equal measure with the guitar. Its tone and bounce draws on 90s noise rock influences such as Big Black or The Jesus Lizard. It sits so prevalently and is so rhythmic that it almost comes across as menacing or unsettling. The drums on the album are also solid, but I think they take more of a back seat in the mix and focus primarily on maintaining those mind altering, repetitive rhythmic patterns that make the music so entrancing.

Lastly I want to give some praise to the album’s production, because it really is stellar and plays such a huge role in how enjoyable of a listen this release is. It makes a lot of sense when you see that the band recorded with Uniform’s Ben Greenberg, who also contributed synthesizer for the album. Uniform is one of my favourite modern noise rock acts, always creating a sound that is unreasonably filthy and distorted and bringing a unique type of aggression and dissonance to the noise/hardcore scene. These same qualities can be seen with this release and I am ALL for it.

Overall this is an excellent album and one that I think all fans of both the sludge and noise rock genres should take the time to listen to. Again if you are a Chat Pile fan I think that this album would be just right for your next venture into the genre. Adversely if you’re a long time noise rock fan I think you will enjoy this in equal measure. My main piece of advice is embrace the weirdness and the confronting themes, lean right into the audio assault that is You Could Do It Tonight and blast the album so loud that you need to get your hearing checked.




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