Music Reviews

COPKILLER – “ALIEN SOCCER” – [Rainbow Bridge]

abacus   7/8/2015   A Library, Cassette

justin marc lloyd electro piss-pop/noise glitter-tronica/childhood memories you wish you didn’t have but are better off having/psychedelic dada EDM/playhouse nightmares/industrial pony-violence/that asshole behind you in traffic and always more fucking insurance/sick muddled hiphop/torn between chronic self doubt and delusions of grandeur/that heavy heat that lingers, overwhelming beat drops and snare staggers/i seriously can’t handle how good this is, unbearable

Truchy, Jean-Sebastien – “…and The Hearth of Skulls” – [la cohu]

abacus   6/22/2015   A Library, Cassette

composer from Quebec experimenting in structures that are both beautiful and chaotic; an almost organic decomposition crackling beneath, cracking open a desert overtone drone; ominous pulsations whispering devilish incantations and sweeping into celestial dementia and tense static suspicions; the dynamics are startling and unsettling, eerily morphing through monastic chants, glitched sonic shredding, heady vacillating vocalizations over a strangely uplifting synth serenade. a trip for sure, cerebral in all the right places and cathartic where it needs to be. final installment of a trilogy of out of body introspections.

Flying Hair – “Haunted Hangout II” – [Self Released]

Thurston Hunger   6/21/2015   A Library, Cassette

A frothy blizzard of fuzz guitar. What did you expect
they’re called “Flying Hair” and have tracks named
“Pills” and “LSD Dracula.” So yeah stacks of Marshall
stacks, and Kurt Mangum’s psych bombast guitar will
tug at your ears like Monster Magnets. On “Pills”
there’s also some kind of slide/lapsteel shadows too
that are quite nice. Bobby Martin shouts rock exhortation
Redd Kross-y vox, but his thick bass drizzled into the
heart of songs is equally crucial. “LSD Dracula” has an
excellent chorus bridge warpath bass/guitar line (and some
ghost organ on top too, Dan Horne provides that and the
album’s lapsteel). LSDD feels more epic than its mere 5
minutes! I bet that track expands wildly live. Drummer
Matthew Clark rounds out the trio, and can whip up a
frenzy when needed, plenty of attack toms, but also
knows when to cool his jets for the slow-down/quiet-down
moments. (Plus he’s Mr. Acid Casual Tea, serving up the
7″ series of Museum of Kind Men singles!!) “Tiny Little
Man” closes this LA trio’s cassette and you feel the warp
and weird rising, but it’s still solid psych rock that
will bounce as high as lost classic reissues, with a heaviness
at the core that will rock milennial chakras.
Dig in! Thurston Hunger

Wizard of – “Naive I-V” – [Zamzam Records]

abacus   6/17/2015   A Library, Cassette

futurist electrobeats from Toronto’s Bob McCully, I guess possibly part of Women in Tragedy, a post-metal-drone-dance-shoegaze group that has apparently been rather prolific for the past several years. this isn’t really any of those things

KTB – “KTB” – [Feeding Tube Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/11/2015   A Library, Cassette

KTB as in “Ketamine The Benevolence” (naturally? I was going
to guess Kick The Bucket). A Boston splinter project from
Guerrila Toss guitarist Arian Sahfiee along with Shawnie
Brando from Bugs and Rats. Deep booming bass left over from
a rave a couple of weeks ago, and razzle-frazzled vocals
(cartoon tweaked, or maybe Brando is just a modern Mel Blanc?).
Artful swagger rock guitar from Sahfiee and thump machines
programmed by Brando, but it’s his vocals that stick in your
ear (reminds me of hip hop guys creating imaginary figures,
like “Chief Chinchilla” from the recent J-Zone album). The
vocals end up providing a cross of humor and swagger to me,
especially on “Medic” which has a sing-songy patter on the
verses and then just sort of wounded howl for the choruses.
Tracks are short and shweet (well the four I could download,
“Right in the Sun” and “Thrown” are apparently only on the
cassette. Maybe I’ll try cueing them up in my car but the
last cassette I listened to in there got munch and crunched.
But this is a kinda munchy, crunchy rock.
-Thurston Hunger

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

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