Music Reviews

Sam Gas Can – “Aswang” – [Feeding Tube Records]

Thurston Hunger   11/14/2014   7-inch, A Library

Side one starts with a baby crying, while possibly
remembering a past-life when it was a man running
through dark woods with joy and fear. The joy wins
out and the baby is placated and then a man has a
brief fit, before the music erupts. In-the-red
number that bounces a round a little bit before
blipping out with stacatto sputter. Really dug
that closing secion (had enough crying babies
in my own previous life).

Side two a muppet monster tries to learn to speak
at the start, croaky throaty stetchy near belches
before a driving little ditty with a police whistle
running the gauntlet between bass and drums
swinging at it like wrecking ball pendulums.
A man screams after swallowing the whistle.
Heavy duty Lightning Bolty proto rock, but
at the end it disappears and a record of maybe
some Mile Davis fusion (sans Miles?) is playing.

These may be riddles that cannot be solved.
But there are clues to Malaysian and Filipino
vampires online at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penanggalan

Hyperactive hjinks here thaT won’t disappoint. The
Tube feeds our ears.
-Thurston Hunger

Shitty Listener, The – “Area Women Ep” – [3 Acre Floor Records]

abacus   11/5/2014   7-inch, A Library

Suit soggy and makeup askew, dripping down empty avenues, Jewelled Antler expat Jason Honea waters the streets of Berlin with this dreamily distant 4am glam pop. the a-side carries some leftover zeal of the night’s escapades, still lingering as you turn in to the twilight and the more sullen sorrow sets in. the b-side boasts field recordings lurking into the foregound where remnants of folk melody fade to memory as we settle into the dew glistened sunrise.

Touming Magazine – “Forever” – [Phat N’ Phunky]

selector   10/7/2014   7-inch, A Library

Good springy/bouncy alt-rock (maybe post-punk) from Taiwan via Phat ‘n’ Phunky records. Has a lot of nice guitar twang and a rolling bass line. Always upgeat. Both tracks have great energy, along with guitar solos. The lyrics are all in Chinese, so I can’t make out all the details, except for “We Are Forever Young” on “Forever”. It don’t matter, it’s all good. Bonus for the two-headed turtle and roses on the cover.


Map 71 – “Standing B/w Specimen” – [Foolproof Projects]

humana   9/15/2014   7-inch, A Library

Out of the UK comes this project between spoken word artist Lisa Jayne and drums and synth musician Andy Pyne. I prefer the lone tribal drum of “Specimen” with Jayne’s whispered words, but many may enjoy the lyrical noise/rock of “Standing,” in which the British accent creates a nice effect.

MC Sub-Zero Permafrost & LYDSOD – “My Brass Instrument” – [LYDSOD]

mickeyslim   9/10/2014   7-inch, Hip Hop

Hip-hop/brass-band/psych/noise orgy! MC Sub-Zero Permafrost spits raps overmusic from the project LYDSOD (a very sarcastic acronym for Live Your Dreams Stay Off Drugs), an acid drenched psych coalition from Brooklyn.

Very high pitched vocals, not sure if it spins correctly at 33 or 45 (I think its 45). The tuba and trombone add a zesty spice to the hip-hop flavor. The B-side wanders a bit into the noisy side of things, which I know a lot will enjoy. Throw it on the turntable and enjoy..

FCC: Both sides :(

Diatribe/Death Crisis [coll] – [Self Released]

Naysayer   9/7/2014   7-inch, A Library

D-beat anti-war anarchist grandaddies (well actually only two original members with their younger cohorts) spit forth three short bursts of angry for a good reason why-aren’t-you-pissed-oh-you’re-a-sheep vehemence. Politcal sound bytes
describing the hopelessness of our state cover the second song. Guitar, drum, bass, vocal.
Fast, fast, fast, aggressive and still necessary. Someone’s got to tell you what a dick head you are.
San Diego’s Death Crisis cover a lot of the same territory: anti-cop, pro green, lack of trust in others. More pissed off life sucks because of all the dicks. Fast, agro drum, bass, guitar, vocals madness.
Fuck you.

Grobe, Klaus Johann – “Traumhaft / Nicht Du Stoppen” – [Trouble In Mind]

Naysayer   9/7/2014   7-inch, A Library

The last Swiss band that mattered to me was Trio. That was awhile ago, but if you wait long enough something new will come along to catch the ear and fill the head. And along comes Klaus Johann Grobe, the Swiss duo of Sevi Landolt on organ, synth and vocals and Daniel Bachmann on drums and vocals. This 45 is their second release following a successful 10 inch which caught the ear of those in the know. This 45 continues in their pursuit of European geek funkiness sort of. Reviews harken the sound to krautrock yet they swear it is not an influence. Yet it sounds krautrocky. And like geeky Stereolab (and this is a good thing). Repeated notes, driving rhythm, late 70’s to early 80’s organ and synth sounds, simple and solid drum beats, singing in German. When asked what they sang about the guys responded with the usual suspects such as love, relationships, experiences, politics but in a not so straight forward way. Some reviews called it Dadaist and Landolt and Bachmann liked that label. “Traumhaft” is more “soulful” if you could call it that. Soulful with synth…. and German lyrics….. by geeky smart guys. With an edge. “Nicht…” is the more krautrock sounding piece, with the pulse hitting a beat that just starts to stick in your head. If pop music sounded more like this, I’d be listening all the time.

Shinobu – “Tangram Sailors/ Ashtray Sea” – [Phat N’ Phunky]

selector   9/4/2014   7-inch, A Library

Indie rock / power pop from San Jose. Fuzzy guitars, fast drumming. Seems like it fills a space shared with few other bands. Weird tuneful vocals, the meaning of which are an intellectual exercise. The the third track (Charyb Notes) is a bit of an existential piece. The last track switches up to fast punk, and may be a bit jokey, but it’s all good with me.


Ad Honorem Magnae Mortis [coll] – [Autopsy Kitchen Recordings]

abacus   8/31/2014   7-inch, A Library

split black metal maelstrom: Bavarian beasts Rites of Cleansing with feral barrage of brutality; lycanthropic ferocity with a slip of country sludge. Torch of War from the hills of Saxony, icy melancholic opaque brilliance. the coldest, sharpest blade cuts deepest; and madness consumes any and all completely.

BruceXCampbell / Green Terror [coll] – [Bloody Scythe Records]

abacus   8/27/2014   7-inch, A Library

dual graft of grindcore from two Socal thrashers: Bruce X Campbell grieves gape faced zombie vox grind-griping about everything from systemic oppression to lost love. cinematic sludge guitar sometimes clean but always with a jagged edge with false start-stop tempo changes. Green Terror sicks a rabid dog on a rampage, or body chomping hogs, or feral cat skreeling? manic metal ghetto blasting raging screaming killing and choking and gagging and foaming. Charles Manson is Jesus and Hitler only had one testicle.

Massenger – “Girl Glass” – [Porchcore]

abacus   8/20/2014   7-inch, A Library

dirty desert pop with hints of L.A. glitz, Ventura’s Massenger got the garage door open wide. Rolling bass lines and rollicking drums but fun pop simple tunes, just with guitar wounds oozing thru the gaps. Sasha’s got that ‘give a fuck’ sass that subtly snarls into her sing song then drifts away in a haze of echo. clean cut with a dirty smile, bled-out bliss.

Young, Oscar Band – “Damp Circuits: The Golden Era of Synthesizers In E Asia Vol1” – [Sham Palace]

Thurston Hunger   8/20/2014   7-inch, International

“Damp Circuits: The Golden Era Of Synthesizers In East Asia Vol. 1”
Hong Kong a Go Go? 70’s sounds for today thanks to Porest’s
Sham Palace label. Speaking of “shams,” at first blush listen
I really wondered if it was the Neung Phak pack putting together
some old Chinese pop songbooks and flea-market instruments for
a “dramatic reinterpretation” but further hunting around seems
to indicate Oscar Young was a record producer and band leader
working that crazy cross-breeding zone of Britain and China back
then. I’m always suspicious (and happy) when Porest aka Mark
Gerghis is involved, and the fact that this 4-song ep was
compiled by one B. (I assume “Bobby”) Ganush…I could not
tell if my leg was being pulled while my foot was tapping to
these exotic/disco/squishy synth-instros. Any ways, I hope
there was (and maybe still is living) an Oscar Young who
collected studio musicians for female singers and Cha Cha
enthusiasts, and might have had a band called “The Apollo”
Either way, the music is great. The first track has the
most aromatic Chinese air, one can almost taste the erhu.
Its drums would make Martin Denny have a smile as wide as
an island. Next up, a similar melody after what sounded
more like a pachinko machine emptying than a raincloud
doing so, but #2 is all about the bass player growing some
fuzzy sideburns and dropping some funky notes. Flip it over
and I’m not sure if there are a million people rejoicing
but it’s kind of funny how a crowd of men’s voices is
fade in and out. Again the drums are prominent, finaly
the album ends with a Mod Squad moment, wacka-wacka guitar
traveling far and well. The synth is so squelchy on that
number, and part of the genius of this gem is the naming of
the collection. “Damp Circuits” Killer! And Vol 1, well that’s
promising as well…not hearing this would have been a shame!
-Thurston Hunger
PS A friend at work was also suspicious on the ideogram for
“Young’s” last name. I know, I know…I ruin everything.

Maguma Taishi – “S/t” – [Asian Man Records]

Naysayer   7/15/2014   7-inch, A Library

Holy nutso Batman. What happens when four accomplished punk musicians get together for three hours and record eight songs? Well, you get this mess of fun and nonsense, that’s what. Don’t try to work too hard to figure out what’s going on. It won’t matter. Songs are sloppy, trashy and fun fun fun. Mike Park supposedly does vocals, so maybe he is and if so he is doing a great impersonation of Japanese to English phonetic singing. Crazy, initially hard to distinguish grunt to growl to groan to yell vocals about a “dachsund (sp) suicide”, Tennyson East Side (is this Hayward gangs?), and all other nonsense. Fast, crashing punk. Short songs, one at 15 seconds, make this two sides a hot, sweaty mosh pit worship experience.

Depressor – “Book of The Dead” – [Self-released]

mickeyslim   7/15/2014   7-inch, A Library


Book Of The Dead… there is no single copy of it remaining, maybe never was, only sections with magical spells that would aide the deceased’s journey into the Underworld.

This band takes the opposite route, coming straight FROM the Underworld. Aggressive, pissed off, death metal; some call it crust punk or industrial, and while I can see where they’re coming from, and it has those flavors… no bro.

The first and last tracks are instrumentals, but you wont really notice ’cause it’s over way too fast. Great stuff here, with Gabriel Gabriloff of ’09 & ’10-era Acephalix. At least stop to check out the colored vinyl.

PGM: All sides track, B2-locked groove? or does it just skip at the last groove…?

Start! – “KREV National Anthem #6, The” – [Ash International]

Thurston Hunger   7/9/2014   7-inch, A Library

Imaginary soundtracks are a dime a drool, but here’s
some imaginary anthems to rock and rule a fictional
fact of a kingdom that is everywhere and nowhere.
That’s right digerati have become digizens, as
sure as that William Gibson idoru you married.
As of this date, they’ve got 980 citizens
and a seeming majority turned up for these
three tracks. Call ’em improvised orchestral
maneuvers with sound collage thrown in. One might
say the seeds of the recording were planted in
2008 in Portugal, but they blossom in the hearts
and ears of KREVonians (??) everywhere? Or maybe
it’ll just make the toes of founding flux fathers
Carl Michael von Hausswolff and Leif Elggren tap?
Side A starts with some fanfare, maybe a regal
horn…and just goes like the kingdom, everywhere.
Marching effects or maybe actual marchers, some
vox populi rising up (count every vote, hear
every voice). A newsspeaker tries to preside over
some deeper infrasound and a rabble razing,
despite the ceremony, percussion factories remain
working at full tilt. On the B-side, first a
flute wanders lonely as a crown. Then vinyl
echoes of ceremony and some static fly-bys. Lastly
a guitar bows to the theme, considers a psychotic
break before a fake skipping needle and precorded
prank skreeeches a salute. Music for the Body
Politic sans body!

-Thurston Hunger

Roachclip – “Calmer In This Town” – [Quemada Records]

Thurston Hunger   7/9/2014   7-inch, A Library

On the A-side, peppy keyboard blizzard pop. Is Rick
Wakeman’s grandkid in this? Nope, it’s not a Brit
in a cape, but a Detroit dude named Bill Corrigan.
The song s basically a cave rocker, cymbally drums
reverb dripping guitat, but the rise-and-fall keys
from Corrigan make it resonate differently. The
song doesn’t really turn a corner at the end, just
rides a hyper escalator to and fro and back again in
his synth palace. Flip side reverb drips get
upgraded to dollops, for a two chord lite anthem
that could have come from decades ago. Possibly
language but its caught in the effects goop? Again
Corrigan’s keys shine, but in a very limited role,
some space synth strafing too. The song devolves
into a choppy chaos of a spoken sample, it’s a
good bad trip to ye olde psych rock ward.

-Thurston Hunger

Walker, Russell / Melchior, Dan – “Sad Son In Law” – [kill shaman]

Naysayer   7/7/2014   7-inch, A Library

Dan Melchior, everyman super musician, harkening back to Billy Childish and then to his own many incarnations, has always had a nod to the off kilter sound, whether it be twangy bluesish guitar stylings or all out found sound wackiness. This nice two song 45 on kill shaman records is again a shift in the sound that Melchior is traveling around with. Co conspirator Russell Walker is no slouch on the music scene. Of Phermomoans and others fame, Walker is the inspired anti-lyricist and vocalist that speaks the new text of the anti-scene. Sounding frighteningly like Genesis P. Orridge, his sing talk of parodying British lifestyle fits hand in glove with Melchior’s surprisingly quite subdued instrumentation on these two cuts. “Sad Son In Law” has a hint of Kraut rock styling in its minimal repetitiveness along with a nod to Velvet Underground two chord guitar styling. Walker’s singing (dual voice recordings) tells the tale through and around the quiet instruments. “I Could Sit Here Forever” starts with a simple drum beat than droning accordion while Walker sings of the reasons he could sit here forever. Is it too obvious to say, “Pull up a chair and join in”? Well, I said it.

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