KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Moonbell – “Afterlives” – [Hypnogram Corp.]

humana   4/25/2015   A Library, Cassette

This four-piece San Francisco band plays music as pretty as its name promises. Three to four-minute pieces of shoegaze heaven, with synth, drums, guitar, and hazy voices mixing to create an intense pleasure that is all too short-lived. Track 11 is my favorite.

Leucrota – “Demo” – [Sentient Ruin Laboratories]

abacus   4/15/2015   A Library, Cassette

festering pustules post-punk hardcore from Santa Cruz’ most wretched. caked with the slime of the San Lorenzo, one might lean towards stoner but this is some serious shroom doom; lurching no frills riffage churning in agonizing elation but shrouded in psychedelic gloom. just as likely to lash out wildly as it is to writhe and smolder in a sludge that’s more frail than sluggish.

LFA – “MG^Inzpirator” – [Nostilevo]

abacus   4/9/2015   A Library, Cassette

liable for abuse: aural corruption a la crumpled beats, compressed and sliced static and beeps – harsh. strangled vocals claw at the skeletal structures, grasping for air in the toxic slime. short circuited dance music for blue screen saturated bit junkies.

(We’ve Got) Fiends In Low Places [coll] – [Eolian Empire]

abacus   3/16/2015   A Library, Cassette

international collection of sludge ballistics, damaged and degraded fuck all rock n roll. not straight muck, rather a splintering barrage from every angle, with plenty of vehement variety to enervate and animate. amongst the heavy hitters: Arabrot spitting hissing goth-core and Cyberne’s crust thrash, Sabatini drags R&B staight to the mud letting Batpiss coat us further in black viscosity, Hombre Malo offers up an interesting brand of screaming prog that clashes nicely with Time Killer’s off-kilter rockabilly. plenty of dirt for everyone, but rock music ain’t for pussies. bite it and bleed.

Tlapa La Thella Ka Ribaneng – “Senna Le Rebotsa” – [L.V. Production]

abacus   3/15/2015   Cassette, International

Famo is a music from Lesotho originally developed by the Sesotho miners in South Africa, played traditionally with concertina or accordion against some sort of string instrument and percussion; the band here letting loose over programmed drum beats and setting the zydeco-like accordion party on fire for the group ululation and rapping to take over. this music was orginally played in the illegitimate back-alley taverns, music to let off steam after a long days work or to speak out against societal oppressions. the tracks as a whole sound pretty similar but individually offer a unique sound largely unheard by American ears; culturally a story to be told of the influences of colonialism on traditional styles.

Sediment Club – “30 Seconds Too Late” – [NNA]

abacus   2/18/2015   A Library, Cassette

in the slashed and oozing vein of no wave, these panicked punkers ambiguously sprouting from the dismal abysmal streets along the eastern seaboard are raging through the know nothing scenes of warehouses, back alleys and squats. lopsided stumbling too drunk to stand but ferocious nonetheless; jagged assaults of angular rock with vocals fuming and foaming, guitar gutting gone woozy on the whammy, and a drummer glazed and lost in his own frenzy. ugliness making one hesitant to call it ‘art’ rock per se, but i guess that’s post-modernism isn’t it…

Infinite Waste – “Ghost Town EP” – [Self-release]

abacus   1/28/2015   A Library, Cassette

relentless misanthropy out of Oakland recorded here by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios. alternately crust ridden doom and manic time-confused grind. double-kick-happy drumming and fancy fretwork make this assault of penetrating metalcore feel restless throughout; overlapping vocals calling out for human eradication, total apocalypse.

S.C.O.A.M. – “Fucking Corpses” – [Teen Action]

Belladonna   1/28/2015   A Library, Cassette

aka “Student Considers Other Academic Models” from SF. This is quirky, wonky, synthy, noizy, strangeness and pretty much what I would expect from a cassette release on Teen Action. I wouldn’t say “punky” but definitely experimental and overall weird. Theres a lot of interesting things going on so its worth the listen.

Violence Creeps – “Demo 2” – [Self-release]

abacus   12/10/2014   A Library, Cassette

damaged trash punk from these Oakland(?) creeps. DIY fuck it recording quality worse than age-old nonsense and worth about a nickel of your time. snarling vocals, spastic bass rattles, and snaggletooth guitar riffage. hardcore without the brutality and all the mistakes.

Miscreant – “Kill Their Babies” – [Rouge Label]

Rat King   11/26/2014   A Library, Cassette

Miscreant is a San Jose power electronics duo whose members are known as LDML and SNT. Anger with a target- Kill Their Babiesiis part warning and part taunt to those in power in America, as stated on the back cover through a quote from Obadiah 1:3: “The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?”. Political corruption, xenophobia, blind patriotic zealotry, power-mad cops, the horrors of war, and religious fanaticism are all covered… maybe. While the aggression, frustration, and dissatisfaction come through loud and clear, the exact causes behind them are left open to interpretation.

Although there are samples of speech, one can only catch snippets of what’s being said- an official’s address to the public, something about Mexico and “get your own country”, statements of “God bless America” (side I). Behind that there is the ominous electronic noise which builds, dissipates, shrieks, grinds, and barks over desperate cries and the bravado of government officials, as well as occasional distorted shouted vocals from Miscreant themselves. Although both sides of the tape are similar in style, they are still two distinct tracks, with side one I slightly more organized and harsh, whereas side II has more despair to it, such as a distorted “help me, God, I think I’m gonna die” followed immediately by fervent talk of redemption as those whose God has failed them are quickly forgotten. Let us consider, now, another quote: “How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!” (2 Samuel 1:27)- a lament for some, a victory cry for others.

Unmanned – “Ageism” – [Idiopathic Records]

abacus   11/19/2014   A Library, Cassette

jagged ambient deformities and torn, tattered soundscrapes; a thick smoke of delicate dysrhymia dematerialized to the point of absence: decrepit sonic voidism echoing in hollow concrete chambers of steel and ash; distant clambering about subconscious, evoking forgotten fears and lost dreams. troubled tranquility

Industrial Priest Overcoats – “Godbless This Hellhole” – [Napkin Records]

abacus   10/22/2014   A Library, Cassette

self-described bedroom punk dorkadelic scrap metal wasteoid blues; this is a real high-energy thrasharound rock riot. psych saturated garage weirdness too together to be art rock but too out there to be anything but. i see them call themselves shardXcore too and i have no idea what that means but sure. fun, danceable, trippable, i’m lost but apparently they’re not. they keep their shit together beautifully for how out of control it all seems. the most sensible bit of insanity i can dream of. special tour edition cassette of this Vancouver band with first 4 tracks on the CD special digital only downloads.

Mosfett – “Roswell” – [Napkin Records]

abacus   10/22/2014   A Library, Cassette

rain-soaked gutter grunge out of Vancouver, B.C. drinkin Molson on your mouldy garage couch. they got that pacific northwest feel without the redundancy; sludgy bass, pummeling rhythm changes, a couple straightahead tunes amidst a whole lotta ruckus. the epic closer drifts out on some hazegaze while never losing the heaviness. hipster punks not afraid to get heavy, like real fuckin rock n roll heavy.

Born to Die Split [coll] – [Nutzz Recordzz, The]

Rat King   10/1/2014   A Library, Cassette

Skinned, grinding, bleeding

Guitar attack, torn throat roar

Bet you squeal real good

More goregrind from The Nutzz Recordzz. Goretorngroin is one man, Generalissimo, and makes (ab)use of vocals, guitars, bass, and a drum machine. Waste Pig is two guys: Boargore and Pigclit (they’re on the inside, FYI), who provide “guitars & low vocal squeals” and “drums & high vocal squeals”, respectively. At this point you should know exactly where you stand on this split.

Born to Die??is dirty and aggressive, as it should be, and both sides provide a fairly good balance of excretion and secretion. Focus is placed on thrashing, distorted guitar work and blast-heavy drumming. Goretorngroin sounds a bit deeper and more restrained, whereas Waste Pig is thrashier. Tracks are mostly short, with Waste Pig providing the meatier cuts on the tape. Personally, I thought Waste Pig better overall, but Goretorngroin’s demonic rumbling is less distracting than Waste Pig’s squeals (RRRREEEEE!) and Generalissimo putsxIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphiaxsamples (“I will eat your babies, bitch!”) to good use on “Brain Splatter”.

In short: It’s goregrind. You kids like goregrind? Here you go.

Miscreant – “T.N.S.T.” – [Self Release]

humana   9/21/2014   A Library, Cassette

When the Rat King gave me this CD to review, she warned me. Never mind that I listened to it right after Essie Jain. Maybe that’s the smartest way to do it. Talk about waking up to smell the coffee. This San Jose band describes their music as electronic industrial noise power. To me it sounds like screaming, and it sounds cathartic, and throbbing, and full of feedback, both musical and political in some way. They are upset. They won’t be silenced. And sooner or later, they will be heard.

Microdeform – “Aphelion” – [ZamZam Sounds]

Thurston Hunger   9/19/2014   A Library, Cassette


The name might connote a more mutated musical experiment,
or at least a shorter one. Here are two involved sidelong
pieces from Bristol’s Liam McConaghy; well, some breathing spots
of silence, and the cassette indicates 10 discreet tracks
with a progression from “Aphelion” to “Perihelion” so there
is a sense of direction and connectedness. And it does
start in darkness, whirry-pools of sound, loops chasing loops
and when vocals are dropped in via samples they fall through
a waterworld of echo. At 11:40 in, we hear “Set” repeated
perhaps to indicate the launch of the musical set, or to
invoke the Egyptian god, or a reference to the sun. Other
echo’d voices in German, feel like eavesdropping…impolite
ears for polite conversation? The reverb so strong, like
a drive-in theater at the back of your brain. Percussion
washes away, but the simple repetition of sound and an
occasional snap of live wire bring it back. 25:10 finds
definite silence, the first side is indeed largely dark
but gentle as rain you cannot see, some very slight
classical feel and occasional airtight vox humana patches.
It has the sort of pulse-wave of a loud bell sculpting
all of the sound. (A very long, gradual fade closes side A.)
Side B is more active as the SS Microdeform apparently
approaches the sun. McConaghy loves his pulsing loops,
acting as a rotary noise engine at the core with
Frippertonic and more fulminating guitar on top. Big
beams of synth redline in at times too, a calmer phase
with piano macrodeformed by reverb. Short sonic eclipse
at 25:14 on side B. Overall, a flowing dark ambient vibe,
akin to an abandoned spacecraft used as a cathedral. Or
perhaps a soundtrack on your shoulder while watching
Danny Boyle’s “Sunrise” -Thurston Hunger

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