Out of sheer frustration over the lack of drummers in the local Massachusetts area, Scott Hull and friends formed AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED (ANb) with the help of a drum machine in 1994. Many artists, such as GODFLESH and MINISTRY, had utilized drum machines effectively in the slower-paced industrial realm, and still more have relied on them for grindcore, but relatively few bands have ever attempted the 100,000 bpm “hailstorm of drums” approach to programming that head honcho Scott Hull not only attempted, but achieved! An ANb recording is like passing through a hailstorm of runaway steamhammers with only a puny cocktail umbrella for protection.
In 1998, after releasing a number of split EPs and seven inch LPs with respected scene veterans, ANb—now featuring Hull and J. Randall (JAPANESE TORTURE COMEDY HOUR, ex-ISIS)—unleashed their Relapse Records debut, Honkey Reduction. Featuring 26 tracks of unbelievably manic grindcore, Honkey Reduction sizzled flesh and tenderized minds. Hull made guitar strings swarm like pissed off hornets while his torrential drum programming—sounding as if it were conceived by a quantum physics professor—rained down on the listener like AK-47 rounds gutting a pumpkin. Militantly hateful vocal angst kicked those who were down.
In late 1999, AGORAPHOBIC unleashed PCP Torpedo (Hydra Head), a scathing barrage of derangement nicely done up as a six-inch slab o' wax. Then, with Relapse proposing the idea of a split release, The Poacher Diaries surfaced, seeing ANb align themselves with Boston’s CONVERGE, delivering a split CD of massive proportions. Strong-arm man Hull’s dexterous guitar warfare fused with decimating drum programming and voracious vocal vortexes. The CD met to a huge response, introducing both bands’ fans to new and interesting sounds.
As writing commenced for the next ANb recording, the ANb sound took a massive step forwards and additional members were deemed necessary. The band doubled in size, adding grindcore alums Richard Johnson (ENEMY SOIL) and Carl Schultz (PROSTHETIC CUNT/::COCOON::). ANb stepped up their efforts both musically and conceptually in an attempt to make music that would be thought-provoking on an obtuse scale.
In 2002, after an almost 3 1/2 year wait, ANb unveiled their long-awaited second full-length, Frozen Corpse Stuffed with Dope. An overwhelming, concentrated outpouring of perceptual stimuli, Frozen Corpse Stuffed with Dope referenced the glory days of early ‘90s grindcore while disregarding the genre’s current ideals, becoming one of the most talked-about grindcore records in recent history. The album and band were featured in numerous high-profile media outlets such as Alternative Press, Kerrang!, CMJ and dozens more. Perhaps Frozen Corpse’s best description came from vocalist J. Randall who surmised, “Frozen Corpse Stuffed with Dope is like ripping through back catalog Earache blastbeat shit armed with a submachine gun at 400 rounds per minute.” Intricate, obtuse artwork by Aaron Turner (ISIS) further added to the surrealistic AGORAPHOBIC vision. A surprise live appearance —the only one in the band’s history—at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival caught everyone off guard.
While the fires left burning in Frozen Corpse’s wake were still smoldering, AGORAPHOBIC set to work on a concept so bizarre, no one would believe it. With a focused mindset, and a plethora of mind-confounding ideas, the band wrote and recorded Altered States of America—a 100 track 3” CD. Released on April Fools Day, 2003, Altered States of America delivered the most ambitious ANb yet and delivered completely inhuman music with a consummate disregard for its listener. Round after round, clip after clip, ANb unloaded an arsenal of stupefying guitar work, experimental noise and drum machine-gun blast beats while swarming vocalists hatefully taunted the listener into the crossfire. Noted UK tome Kerrang called the mini-CD “Disorientating, hallucinatory and utterly deranged” and “a truly fantastic work of musical extremity.”
2005: ANb’s Bestial Machinery (ANb Discography Vol. 1) was a new terminal vision representing a vast work of utterly uncompromised will. Inhuman, relentless and complete, the gear-grinding, blast beat to bloodshed 2xCD set featured all of ANb’s recorded material prior to their Relapse Records debut. Eviscerated remains, long out of print material and previously unreleased tracks worked as raw materials for this colossal project of human subjugation where the listener is but a set of ears to lacerate and another body to burn.
After several more split releases, both 7” and CD, AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED updated their lineup with Kat (SALOME) replacing Schultz. Now, ANb is preparing to unleash their next full-length album, Agorapocalypse, set for a 2009 release via Relapse Records. Early reports indicate the new ANb material to be much more in-your-face and attacking, with a quantum leap forward in programming and material.
DIE AND GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY!
Scott Hull: Guitars, Bass, Machines;
J. Randall: Vocals, Electronics;
Richard Johnson: Vocals;