NEGATIVE ØHIO – releases new album
Negative Øhio – Welcome To Cuddle Country, Pardner!
“Welcome to Cuddle Country” is the Norwegian/American Avant-Garde duo’s third album, and is an epic double album with a deceptively wholesome name. Side A focuses mostly on combining Avant-Garde Metal and Digital Hardcore in various weird ways, while side B consists of freeform, atmospheric jams and noise soundscapes.
Cuddle Country was mixed and produced by the band themselves, and is being entirely self-released on streaming and their Bandcamp. A physical release will be available as a memory stick in a small handcrafted, paper bed with a bunch of bonus material. The album comes out on September 23th.
At 26 songs, it is their biggest release to date, and is obviously influenced by the harsh times of the pandemic. The overarching theme of the album is the power of dreams and nightmares, with each side of the album starting with a silly audio skit before jumping into complete sonic mayhem. Throughout the span of the album the band explores many different topics, everything from comedic scenarios to anxiety about the end of the world, and never sticks to just one genre at a time.
Side A of the album has its main focus around Avant-Garde Metal and Digital Hardcore, with everything from Blues, Acapella, Industrial, Free Jazz, Prog, Cybergrind and Symphonic music showing up throughout in various ways. Side B is even more experimental, going into full Harsh Noise, Jazz Fusion and Dark Ambient territory for many of the songs.
Two songs on the album feature guest artists: YMRED, formerly of the Canadian Hard Rock group Bluefusion, doing lead vocals and guitar shredding for “Breakfast Ghost Home Invasion”, and the multi-instrumentalist Sky doing a far out jam with the band on guitar and clarinet for “What’s The Ocean Doing In The Sky?”.
The album title is, of course, a joke on “cattle country”, instead here referring to a ranch where you can buy mattresses for cuddling. This title was picked as an ironic and comedic contrast to the audio hellscapes you will find otherwise on this album.
About the band
Negative Øhio was started in 2016 by American Nintendocore musician Gigakoops and Norwegian Prog Metal producer Nightmare Lyre. The goal of the project is quite simply to experiment with all sorts of sounds and genres in new and exciting ways, often mixing a sense of humor with high-concept compositions and themes.
They’ve collaborated with artists such as experimental artist Strangerous, painter May S., and arguably Norway’s first noise artist himself, NXP. Their first album was featured in a program block at RadiOrakel, the world’s oldest feminist radio station.
Some of their influences include Shining (NOR), John Zorn’s Naked City, Captain Beefheart, Cattle Decapitation, Nine Inch Nails, Akira Yamaoka, Death Grips, Yoko Ono, Atari Teenage Riot, Lightning Bolt, iwrestledabearonce, Devin Townsend and Aphex Twin. They’re also heavily inspired by art movements such as avant-garde, dadaism, pop art, surrealism, Flash animations and abstract expressionism.
Both members of the project are also queer trans women, and as thus tend to try and work in satirical elements about gender, sexuality and societal issues into their work. They also like to keep somewhat anonymous, and tend to use drawn personas to represent themselves.
Discord: Nightmare#2183 and Gigakoops#8599