Shove Your Head into the Ground and Feed it to the Earth starts with a dark bass line that immediately makes me think of marching. The drive of it is relentless, keeping up through the whole song. The vocals come in, slightly distorted, and they tell us, “People keep telling me things that I don’t want to hear.” Word. The feel is darkly industrial, purposely segregated from the organic. The track ends with a guitar line that is Middle Eastern in feel and samples of a goat and flows straight into the next track. This CD has verses that spiral into chaotic choruses created by distortion and powerful vocals.
There is a good mix of technology and live instruments, reminiscent of early Nine Inch Nails, without all the woe is me lyrics and the omnipresent drum machine. This is more grown up and if its obsessed with anything, its life and not death. “Turn out the lights, I’ll lead the way. We have to escape.” We’re told on Turn off the lights. This is the hope that Yossarian chased at the end of Catch-22 and the desert fathers sought. Most of the modern world has felt the need to escape. Sometimes, you have to retreat from the noise and lights of modernity and society. “Take this nonsense out of my head.” The lyrics wail. Here, the sanctuary is updated tradition, the past in the form of Middle Eastern melodies and beats updated by some amazing guitar work.
Emok is made up of Itai, Oter and Bul all hailing from Israel and currently residing in Brooklyn. Shove your head into the ground and feed it to the Earth is their Wrong Records debut. I’ve heard their music referred to as post-punk, but this is too good to be shoved in that little box. With the combination of the traditional and the modern, the Middle Eastern and the Western, and samples and the live instruments and the lyrics that are angry, hopeful, frustrated and intelligent I don’t know what to call. Its just good. Sure ‘nuf.
Emok will be out touring. Here are the dates:
Thurs, April 7 – Buffalo, NY – Show Place (w/American Head Charge)
Fri, April 8 – Erie, PA – State Street Tavern
Sat, April 9 – Jamestown, NY – Extreme Cafe
Mon, April 11 – Cleveland, OH – Peabody’s
Tues, April 12 – Hartford, CT – Webster Underground
Wed, April 13 – New York, NY – CBGB’s
If they were coming within four hours of me, I’d totally go see them.