Scum Couch is the brainchild of drummer and multi-instrumentalist noisemaker Mark OÍBrien. Based in Albany, NY, Scum Couch was conceived in 2014 as a solo experimental multimedia art project. OÍBrien has toured extensively in several groups, first with progressive indie rockers Aficionado (No Sleep Records) and more recently with outr_ post-punk unit Self Defense Family (Deathwish Inc.) and progressive sludge/doom band HUSH.
Weak Existence is OÍBrienÍs third effort in the past year under the Scum Couch moniker, having released the EPs Human Form and Scum Couch just a few months apart in 2015. Each of these recent outings has revealed an expanding palette of disparate influences that have culminated in a driving, cohesive group of songs on Weak Existence. The tracks draw from a range of genres, encompassing the distorted pummel and repetition of noise rock and industrial, the experimentation of jazz, and the avant-weirdness of artists like Scott Walker and Brainbombs. Scum Couch has crafted a truly engaging album that blends layers of distorted rhythms, textures, and stark vocals with a wide array of other instrumental elements from synths to clarinets.
Standout tracks like "Group Photo" and "Naive" are alternately grooving and chaotically dissonant, perfectly illustrating OÍBrienÍs penchant for creating something that feels both bombastic and at times abrasive, yet remains strangely accessible, even infectious.
02. Group Photo
b 03. Weak Existence
05. Out Seven
06. Train of Thought