Last month I harped on about how I was sticking with grim stuff because it was still dark and cold out, and not quite spring, and brighter sounds are for brighter days. Well, it seems we've been stuck into an extended chill, so allow me to continue with the pounding and the squawking and general unsettling vibes. There is some swagger though, so that's something.

The swagger comes in the form of London/Scummerset sexytet Hey Colossus. Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo is their eighth LP, and earmarks a fascinating stage in the band's evolution. If their early Butthole Surfers-meets-Can krautsludge had all the primitive harshness of cavemen discovering bright, hot burny stuff, then CLLLC is the Holy Roman Empire – sanitation, straight roads and central heating, but still with the joie de vivre of a Bacchanalian orgy. Coincidentally, CLLLC in roman numerals is 350, which is roughly how many members the band would have if all past, present and future reprobates played at the same time.

Anyway, back to the album. CLLLC is the sound of shit falling into place. The HC rhythm section has always been tighter than a gnat's chuff, but not like this. The old smashing grumble has been replaced by space and precision – locked fingers instead of a high five. Still, the three R's (repetition, repetition, repetition) remain a vital part of the curriculum. Hey Colossus have never been a band that show you flashes of an idea, only to move on to the next thing; their MO is to smash it into your skull repeatedly, so that you really, really get the message.

A not very wise man once said to me: "Play something four times, it's good. Play it eight times, and it's shit. But if you play it a hundred times, it's fucking great." That savant was the HC bassist. Figures. On 'Oktave Dokkter', the autobahn effect of straight and steady and don't you deviate is hazy and low, with a gut-rumble the completely owns the song. The froggy vocals, three-note guitar and mosquito synth are allowed to come out and play, but it's clear on whose terms.

Where 'Oktave Dokkter' and the 'roided 'English Flesh' have groove and swag and menace locked down, 'How to Tell Time With Jesus' shows the other way repetition can kill you. It's not so assured and bolshy; it doesn't live to loaf. It's more a descent to madness as it goes in circles, and not big, looping grandiose turns – it's a merry go round spinning just slowly enough for you to be aware that you will puke at some point, but you don't know exactly when that point will be, you just know hat you don't particularly want it to stop because you know the world will continue spinning and you won't even have any company because your senses bailed at a sensible point.

Let's talk about synths, baby, because they are CLLLC's lustre and veneer. The sweaty sheen on the climaxed punter's for'ead. Especially on 'Leather Lake' – it's a doomy Moroder for greasers and not the merely greasy. Or there's opener 'Hot Grave', with its growled tale of a self-loathing slave, where the oddly sweet punctuations of "hooooooo!" and "haaaaaaaaa!" and "trrrrllllling!" really are the raisin in the biscuit.

Hey Colossus are your goofy but righteous friend. Too jovial for the pomp and high camp that other, 'doomier' bands drown their presence in for grim authenticity, they are fun and crushing in equal measure and that is really quite OK with me.

Ensemble Pearl's debut S/T is in equal measure celestial and cerebral. A meeting of four noise rock masters – Stephen O'Malley, Atsuo, Bill Herzog, and Michio Kurihara, theirs is a music that soothes and pierces like a broken glass massage to the soul. Its pace is a dazed walk through gently rolling terrain. Echoey slowly chugging guitars roll in like storm clouds and squalls of feedback and e-bowed shrieks are lightning bolts – or a four-minute warning. But this can, and does, all frequently die out into clipped drones that offer sudden moments of clarity, like sun through a parting in the storm front.

It's not that the music itself sounds particularly organic – much effort is taken to modulate certain parts out of recognition, with guitarists gaining, losing, regaining, and losing control of what they are playing. More than this, it's that the music reminds me of our environment. And by environment, I mean the modern environment – not some hippy dream of an ancient feudal existence.

Our environment is as much brutalist high-rises as it is the shady wooded copse or craggy northern coast. More so, even. And it's this that Ensemble Pearl seem to capture so well. The wild, untamed elements of the human environment that are present in both built up and untouched places. There is the potential for horror and beauty in both. The joke is, you're equally likely to get shit on your boots wherever you are.

Ensemble Pearl (the album) always seems to be going somewhere but taking a really roundabout route, until it hits 'Sexy Angle', its 20-minute terminus. Up until this point you are taken on a tour of what feels like a new and alien place, which ends up not being that at all. It's just a new way of looking at the world around you. The reality of where you are and this is it and either come to peace with it or forever be trapped in the noise. The crawling pace persuades you not to stop, just to move forward in less of a manic pace and understand your surroundings. See them for what they are. See them for what they are for other people. See what is good and bad and what needs to be fought and what should be accepted. But sometimes, you have to let the noise in. Shutting it out is denying that it exists, and that would be a lie.