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Album Review

Soft Shoulder – “Formerly On Fluorescent Paper” – [Gilgongo Records]

Thurston Hunger   4/6/2022   12-inch, A Library

Rock has not been exterminated, and Mark E. Smith’s sneer lives on in many throats including here via James Fella. James is the fella behind the mighty Gilgongo label, for now he is the sole Shoulder carrying the load. Well, he’s got his trusty drum-machine along as a side-kick-snare. Voice often run through a distorted auctioneer’s megaphone via landline in the basement. We recently added his collab with Gabriella Isaac which is a ear/skin/soul noise-ball shredder. Quite a contrast to this song-strong lp with trace elements of punk country…okay definite accent on the former. I think it’s just how the strings slide around that feel like a lap-steel in trouble (or that kind of Spray Paint galloping guitar vibe). Something here makes me think about a Texas Funeral (viva Jon Wayne) even though it is closer to a sweltering swamp cooler (I think Fella’s a permanent Tempe type). Don’t sleep on his spiraling sax screeches
in “Child Not Listing” and “No Magic Dirt” and the hit single (in my ears at least) “Half Wall Bleed.” Or put on “PO Box 7455” and work your dance moves (it ain’t ESG but it’s got a groove). All tracks are short to really short, so unless it’s a Two-fer-Tuesday get something queued up pronto, bucko. Worse things could happen, really digging the punchiness of this record, hope James finds a band to flesh the songs out live. Maybe Deerhoof’s John Dieterich well lend a hand as he mastered them for the record.
-Thurston Hunger
PS Finally looked up where the name Gilgongo apparently came from, even more to love.

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