“Live For Nothing” is a compilation of two radio appearances from the nineties (one from KZSU in 1996 and the other from KFJC in 1999) by the recently reformed Noothgrush, a legendary Bay Area doom/sludge band which has been given a full release (a rarity for the band to have something so widely available) by Southern Lord. The band have a long and varied history of releasing various EPs and split releases, so this is something of a bonus having so much material available on one record.
Weighing in with eighteen tracks and at nearly eighty minutes long. This is an epic release in every sense of the word, an unbelievably heavy collection from Californians. The majority of tracks on here are slow, distorted cuts of malevolent sounding doom. The only real let up is the 23 second ‘Evazan’, which has a lyric based on a line from Star Wars (one of many references Noothgrush make to the films). This song stands out even more when you see the next song, the eight-minute ‘Erode The Person’, which, bar a minute towards the end of the song is a barrage of unrelenting distortion and heaviness.
The stand-out track first time round was undoubtedly their cover of Celtic Frost’s ‘Procreation Of The Wicked’ although on further listening, it is more difficult to pick out a favourite track as there is plenty of quality here. Along with the slow punishing doom, there are also some shorter more upbeat tunes on here that verge on stoner rock, although they still have that massive sound that keeps things heavy. The trio of Gary Niederhoff (Bass / Vocals), Russ Kent (Guitars) and Chiyo Nukaga (drums) has created a crushing wall of noise that has inspired countless bands since then.
Being a compilation of sessions, this is the full live sound of Noothgrush, rather than just a best of collection. The production isn’t the clearest, but with this style of music, a raw sound always adds more atmosphere to the recordings. Nonetheless, the sound is good and gives you a good feel about how the band would sound live and with Noothgrush playing the Maryland DeathFest this year and hints about what would be their first ever European dates, it will be a chance for them to get the attention they deserve.