Hermetic San Francisco Bay Area duo Dunnock play untrue black metal, a raw blend of shambolic, punky riffs, howling noise, and lo-fi, reverb slathered electronic ambience as indebted to the minimalist garage psychedelica of Spacemen 3 and the tormented genre explorations of Xiu Xiu as it is to fellow black metal outsiders Striborg or Velvet Cacoon.
The band’s second full length record, “little stories told by ghosts,” is the result of five years sporadic work in living room “studios” up and down the East Bay. Telling the story of four fictionalized murders near bodies of water important to would-be Dunnock mastermind Jacob Thomas’s childhood and adolescence, the album is narrated by the victims and, through the recounting of their tragic life tales, also serves as an alternative autobiography of sorts for the band’s leader. The tide laps at shoes and country streams run through fingers as the lyrics travel from the beaches of Humboldt County to the forgotten hollows of West Virginia and the crumbling Baltimore waterfront of the 1980s.
Musically “little stories told by ghosts” represents a stylistic leap towards the abyss as Dunnock crack open the formula behind their three chord riffs, hammer it into oblivion and mix what’s left in a cast iron pan with trace elements of krautrock, shoegaze, spoken word poetry, Bmore breaks, and trip-hop along with lengthy aquatic field recordings and walls of brutal noise, spreading the resulting concoctions out to nearly quarter hour run times. Current and former members of Botanist, Dhampyr, Palace of Worms, and Afraid provide guest vocals and additional instrumentation. Dunnock are a band that have often defined themselves in terms of their failures, and “little stories” represents the band’s best effort to fail ambitiously.
Available on CD and Cassette May 18th from Acephale Winter Productions and Sylvan Screams Analog. Copies of the CD ordered directly from AWP or the band will include a piece of surf polished jade collected by Jacob from the beach that inspired the album’s third track.
Dunnock – Fish Creek
Dunnock – …and All the Nobody People (I Can Feel the Soil)
Band location – Berkeley, California
Learn more about Dunnock on their Facebook page
Listen to and buy Dunnock music on Bandcamp