There can be beauty in chaos, melody in meltdowns, and bliss in torrential sonic attacks. Just ask Taito Reed and company. When you want to investigate the old adage “There is light through all the darkness,” hit up the former Junk Sick Dawn frontman’s latest project, Noise Clinic. Balancing structure with floods of improv, pitting screeching elements of jagged rock against classical strings and random found sounds, spewing shouts and spoken word, singer/guitarist Reed, violinist/singer Sayaka Yabuki, drummer Rick Walker, and bassist Joe Gabent eschew the norm. The quartet, made up of veteran musicians long steeped in the local scene, lands itself in an ambiguous state where the aggressiveness of punk coalesces with quiet poetry.
Abstract yet emotionally relatable, what Reed calls a “tug of war between rigid structure and walls of noise,” you won’t find on radio but you can find when the band plays Sunday’s Noise Festival at the Rockit Room in San Francisco, or at the Catalyst on Wednesday, June 30. After the venerated Junk Sick Dawn disbanded, Reed eventually spent four years living in Japan. It was there, in 2006, that he would plant the seeds for Noise Clinic. When he returned to Santa Cruz last year he further evolved his ideas with the help of the current lineup. Now, gnarled metal finds a marriage with Yabuki’s violin and Walker’s cutting-edge patchwork of drums and electronic manipulations, while Gabent holds down the melody. There’s even James Feathers (former JSD bassist) manning a liquid lights show. A collage of new wave-meets-noise rock-meets-quiet contemplation, the band aims to defy the stereotypes of what rock ’n’ roll is. And while it’s all about deconstructing sounds and demolishing genre barriers, the innovative ensemble blurs lines to make an uplifting connection. “Noise Clinic is all about musical anarchy—not social anarchy,” Reed asserts. “If you have energy to throw something through a window, you can put that energy toward the creative. We go through a lot of dark concepts but it’s a positive thing. We’re really stepping outside of what’s happening in town and that’s all we can do—and if you can get inspired by that, that’s all we can ask for.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 30. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $4. 423-1338. myspace.com/noiseclinic.