Album Review

Damaged Bug – “Hubba Bubba” – [Castle Face Records]

Thurston Hunger   2/16/2015   12-inch, A Library

Used to be you’d go to a bar and find at least two
galactic travelers – you know an Ultraman enemy and one
of JT Kirk’s exes. They’d bypass the adult beverages
and just get drunk on the light organ. They’d ask you
if you could take them to Brian Eno, and laugh with
high shrilling bi-tones when you said no. Not sure when,
but they all left, everyone of them fled the planet like
a dead celebrity party. Maybe this record will bring ’em
back. John Dwyer and Thee Oh Sees microphone decided
they needed some time apart, so Dwyer built a rocket ship
studio out of old analog synths (mellotron on board!),
some tin foil, grumpy drum machines and all the red lights
ever used in Sci Fi films before Star Wars. Guess what,
his ship launched better than that Orbital Sciences dealy.
Damaged Bug has a mix of gravity and levity that keep it
in steady pop orbit. It’s a fine, mechanical toe-tapper
of an album guaranteed to give your robot hiccups.
I thought I sensed some Silver Apples baked into that
tasty “Sic Bay Surprise.” “Metal Hand” has vocoder lips.
Some of the drums on the album are played by primates!
“SS Cassidiner” is an experimental lunar noodler doodler,
“1/2 An Airplane” also shuts off the communication
device. But Dwyer’s deadpan delivery and lively lyrics
(“Hubba Bubba” is in part about that gum you used to
like, coming back in style maybe?). We got a plain
black vinyl copy, but I assume somewhere there’s a 12″
pressed out of fossilized Tang crystals.
-Thurston Hunger

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