End Christian: Extreme Makeover

With End Christian, members of Hex Inverter, Brutal Truth, Dälek and others explore their subdued sides

“Indie-rock disco” was how End Christian drummer Richard Hoak initially, and facetiously, responds when asked to describe the new collective’s sound. It’s a description that, in looking at the players involved, you wouldn’t think would be anywhere near the ballpark. But it’s apparently what happens when you get members of hard ’n’ heavy bands like Brutal Truth, Total Fucking Destruction, Starkweather, Fad Nauseam, Hex Inverter and former Dälek noise maestro/producer Alap Momin together to explore their subdued sides.

“At a big party at a motorcycle shop, Christian (McKenna) told me he had some crazy songs I would probably hate, but if not, would I wanna play drums on his unusual musical project,” says Hoak. “I prefer unusual music, so I was psyched to help out.”

“The idea was primarily based on songs I had written,” says McKenna. “I wanted conviction and feeling; I also wanted collaboration and input. Musically, the intent was to create stuff that was heavy on feel and not to lean on technicality. I’ve grown very tired of the traditional band setting: weekly practices, live performances, rehashing material to keep sharp for a set. End Christian, as a name, means to put a stop to the creative rut I’ve been in and to the way I’ve been doing things. This record is me spending more time in the moment.”

Debut album Energy & Strength (Translation Loss) showcases sonic restraint, melodic exploration and a thrust of bleakness into the musical conversation via strains of ’80s post-punk and no-wave with synth-wave soundscapes and slo-mo psychedelic pulses providing the heartbeat.

“Making this record was a learning process, and I’m very proud of what we accomplished,” says McKenna. “I’m even more excited about what’s next. I’m excited to have Alap more involved in the writing process. Mike Hill from Tombs is playing on some of the new stuff to add a different element. Sheena Powell, who sang a little on the first record, has already contributed to songs for the follow-up. I’m grateful I have all these amazing musicians along for the ride.”

—Kevin Stewart-Panko