Birth (Defects), “Ascetic”

Sam Lefebvre

Birth Defects Photo by Megan Lloyd.

Photo by Megan Lloyd.

Baltimore fixture Sean Gray operates the Fan Death and Accidental Guest labels. Last year, he launched a resource—and, crucially, a conversation—regarding accessibility and live music with Is This Venue Accessible. Most recently, Gray’s dour rock outfit Birth (Defects) announced a new 7-inch, due next month via Reptilian Records, and shared the a-side, “Ascetic”.

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On “Ascetic”, Gray is accompanied by Rob Savillo, Ian Graham, Chris Morawski, and Erik Wisler. The song employs a fade-in, feigning limp production for just a moment before the pretty devastating totality of its gurgling low-end and squealing feedback sets in. Gray’s vocals, meanwhile, alternate between a dizzied, opiate croon and lumpen-hostile shout, evocative of cheeky AmRep rock posturing.

“Ascetic”, which follows a split cassette released last year, features cover imagery by Terence Hannum, Baltimore artist and member of the left-field black metal group Locrian. The stark monochromatic palette and impression of shards colliding fits the group quite nicely.

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