It shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with Ren Schofield's musical output that Adhesive, his new four-track EP under his current Container moniker, makes a wicked racket. After all, Schofield has been producing some variation on experimental noise since 2005. That said, the Container project is arguably his most focused attempt at music making, one that reassembles his influences into a propulsive industrial-noise-techno package. The first two Container LPs (each confusingly called LP) and the Treatment EP placed Schofield within a larger global movement, alongside artists like Regis (a.k.a. Karl O'Connor of British Murder Boys), Function, Cut Hands, and more minimal outliers like Silent Servant and Powell. Now, he's returned with Adhesive, the most hard-charging and brutal Container outing to date.
The EP blasts off with the title track, led by crispy drum programming and bass hum that begins to intensify, mutate, and distort as it rolls forward. Up next is "Complex," which features a thicker, more layered bass and a drum intro that hints at speed metal, only the anticipated rock guitars never materialize (at least not in the conventional sense; underpinnings of treated guitar sounds are apparent here and throughout the EP).
Schofield saves his best productions for the second half of the roughly 20-minute release. "Glaze," a companion piece to "Complex," stands out, adding texture, tone, and splashes of muted color to what is a largely monochromatic soundscape. The razor-sharp "Slush" wraps up the EP, utilizing elements of acid, punk, and dark techno-fuzz effects to build the track.
As the EP comes to a close, it's not entirely clear exactly what Adhesive represents. Whether it's a step forward, a step back, or merely a holding pattern, there is something admirable about Schofield's dedication to what amounts to a single, fiercely realized idea. However, as the Container project moves into the future, more innovation and evolution will be necessary.