Baxter Stockman is a Finnish noise rock-trio. It was founded in 2006, and has made two EPs and taken part on "Rabbit Ilsn Records Compilation vol. 1" with a different version of the song Kar-Air. I've been waiting to hear more from the band since I heard their second EP from '09, and finally the time was ripe for a new single/EP. The pressing amount was mere 261 copies, so you might want to hurry if you want one.

First I'd like to share a word about the visual side, and that word is splendid. A creamy colorscape with stylish and elegant fonts that extend to the center labels, minimalistic but effective design, and the vinyl is a heavy one. This is how much effort bands should put into crafting their releases' visual side, folks. To make things more disturbing, a bruised female behind is added on the cover. Many questions arise, yet none are answered. The lyrics are not included, but I'm not sure if I'd even like to see them or to rather keep on making on making my own assumptions about their possible content.

The two songs are not as erratic or weird as on the group's previous EP, but focus more on steady repetition with hostile vocals and slowly moving feedback-screech. The band has made sure that despite the repeated riffs and fills are not too quirky, they certainly will make an impact. The song Kar-Air has a very simple and steady basic structure, but the occasional feedback, tormented vocals and some tiny adds and intentionally misplaced notes in the riffs make the song damn near addictive. It is anguished and full of suppressed disgust and hate.

The title track "Romance" is a faster tune with more variation and surprise twists in the form of quiet parts as well as louder bursts, heavy melodies, somehow twisted and illogical riffs and tempo-tricks. The song creates a lot of anquishing suspense which doesn't lift off until the vinyl has stopped spinning, and even then you're left wanting more. The pain is addictive.

Unsurprisingly, the soundscape is pretty much flawless. Everything is clean but not lifeless, and the sounds have the needed mass, detail, depth and harshness to deliver the disturbed atmospheres and twisted riffs. It sounds professional, original, and spot-on fitting.

There is pretty much nothing to complain about in this 7" except its short-ish length. As said, I had waited for three years for new material from Baxter Stockman and I wasn't let down - that's got to say something, right? Hopefully the trio's next release won't take three or more years to manifest.

9+ / 10