Music Reviews

Belgrado – “Obraz” – [La Vida Es Un Mus]

Thurston Hunger   2/21/2023   12-inch, A Library

Suave gothic/post-punk stylings out of Spain. Patrycja Proniewska is the front-woman and lead vampire. Guitar from Fernando Marquez is a great dizzying swirl, he adds synth too along with Jonathan Sirit who also guides the drum machines. Renzo Narvaez adds bass to this 2016 release. Start, but don’t stop with “Wiatr” (“Wind” in Patrycja’s native Polish). Sure Bela Lugosi is still dead, but it’s time for you to expand your grim dub punk rotations. I dig “Krajobraz” and its mysterious instro, synthesizers whinnying in their corrals. Fog machines are NOT optional. Artwork is maybe a mix of ransom note and Bauhaus. Like the music, beckoning strange with a starkness to it. See also Fatamorgana as a Patrycja project on La Vida Es Un Mus. Belgrado dials down the synth and cranks up the dirgey punk club vibe with crucial dub highlights. That transition from “Nierealne Realne Społeczeństwo” to “Na Ten Czas” Aces!!!
-Thurston Hunger

Generacion Suicida – “Regeneracion” – [Drunken Sailor Records]

Thurston Hunger   2/21/2023   12-inch, A Library

Puro punk fresh hecho in these Estados not so Unidos. 2022 Los Angeles, flying under the radar and soaring over all those classic tracks from Bloodstain collections. Damn shame we missed the blood red vinyl. This Drunken Sailor edition brings Tony Abarca’s vox to up front with anthemic urgency. Tony is the rhythm slash and burn, on top Mario Quezada’s lead work can ricochet like a bullet with a purpose or wash up in surfy reverb. Tracks like “Balas” and “Ilusion” gallop, and if you aren’t moving fast enough, Kiwi Martinez will be after you like a heart attack. Her drums, your arteries! Elias Ramone on bass rounds out the quartet, okay Elias’ real last name is Jacobo. but that bass is vital as you feel it 10 blocks away before you even hear the band. Sung in Spanish, but as the Bloodstains taught us, punk is its own language. The album ends in Violence, the band I hope lasts many more decades (they started as kids). Feels like Generacion Suicida has that kind of Dead Moon durability and DIY dedication!

Long may they rock!
-Thurston Hunger

Spindrift – “Classic Soundtracks Vol. 3” – [Alternative Tentacles]

beastofbourbon   2/21/2023   12-inch, A Library

Spindrift – Classic Soundtracks Vol. 3

Spindrift is an L.A. based band formed in 1992 playing cinematic experimental rock, but by the early 2000s added their signature psych/surf Spaghetti Western sound. Classic Soundtracks Vol.3 is their 10th studio compilation and first released on Alternative Tentacles. Produced by Riley Bray & Jello Biafra, this album features 14 instrumental and vocal tracks that were produced for several documentaries, and new and re-released cult films. A list of the films is on a poster included with the record. This album is ideal for sound beds, transitions, and driving through Death Valley.

Beast of Bourbon

+oc – “Pandemonium” – [Broken Clover Records]

beastofbourbon   2/21/2023   12-inch, A Library

+OC – Pandemonium

+OC (tock) is a duo based out of Madrid, Spain that formed in 2018. Pandemonium, a double album, is the duo’s first full-length album. It was recorded between June 2019 and June 2020 in Madrid at El Purgatorio by Oscar Moreno-aka Ojo-and mastered at Atomic Garden Studios in Oakland, CA, by Jack Shirley.The music brings an intense experimental Gothic/Psych Rock mood with vocals to match. All songs are in Spanish with some traditional Flamenco style singing on some tracks. Fred Erskine of D.C. band Hoover and Dischord Records Producer guests on trumpet on “Inocencia”.

Beast of Bourbon

Monkey Power Trio, The – “Cry Mama” – [Pocahontas Swamp Machine Recordings]

kittywompus   2/20/2023   12-inch, A Library

Opening with acoustic ukulele and lazy vocals into a shimmering percussion, trumpets, soulful electric guitar and a surprising amount of recorder are all examples of what might be found on the newest release from DIY band The Monkey Power Trio. In accordance with their 27 year tradition, the entire album was recorded in a day, and you can tell. To the layman Waltz Aestas Schizophreniae may be as weird as it proclaims to be at the beginning of the track, but to the average KFJC listener it’s business as usual. Freeko Chicho is the real wtf here, they themselves quite literally are unsure of what they say, something about fried eggs? Improve rock with the odd funky and psychedelic ska track like Sand Flea, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. Personal faves: Parties of Our Yesteryears, Screams Inside Your Heart

(FCC: track 9 “ass” Screams Inside Your Heart)

Secret Emchy Society – “Gold Country/Country Gold” – [Broken Clover Records]

kittywompus   2/20/2023   12-inch, A Library

2022 release

Fun, Queer, Country made for bar listening while downing whisky sours and waiting for the pool table to free up. Cindy M Emch’s lead vocals unify the varying themes and pace of this album, all unabashedly country and driven by deeply emotional lyricism (My Old Flame, Cowboys are..) and excellent strumming. Think I do and Murdered your bourbon are great drinking/dancing anthems, along with Birch Bones Redux (a story laid out by angsty and bustling rhythm akin to traveling a bumpy road with rising anticipation within the traveler). The album’s title song is a jam I can only hope to be able to play on a jukebox of the next dive I frequent should I be so lucky (One can dream).

T1 Cowboys are… Has FCC (Fuck)

Surplus 1980 – “Kremlin Gremlin (A Dull Fiddler)” – [Surplus Industries]

Albion Moonlight   2/17/2023   7-inch, A Library

Albion Moonlight 2/22/2023 7-INCH, A Library

Oakland-based musical collective Surplus 1980 returns with a single the proceeds of which benefit the Vet Crew in Ukraine, who aid animals displaced in that war. Moe Staiano and collaborators joined by J.W.Sok on vocals give us a polemical post-punk tune skewering Russian President Putin on side A, complete with Fripian guitar. Side AA (B) is a dub remix of one of the songs to come out on their forthcoming album. This music is bouncy and fun! A real time traveling experience back to the 80s. Recommended!.

The 7” single is half blue/half yellow colored vinyl to emulate the Ukrainian flag.

FCC ‘Sh*t’ and ‘Sh@t’ on Side AA (B) – ‘Some Few Facts (And One False One) About Birds


Les Rallizes Denudes – “The Oz Tapes” – [Temporal Drift]

Louie Caliente   2/13/2023   12-inch, A Library

Previously unreleased live recordings from legendary Japanese emperors of heavy psych.

The OZ House was a cafe and performance space in Kichijoji neighborhood of Tokyo that existed for only a year, where Les Rallizes Denudes were regulars. These tracks were recorded in 1973, and kept in storage for almost 50 years. They shed new light on this enigmatic band and their notorious sound.

Unlike many of their poorly-recorded bootlegs, the OZ Tapes is not a feedback-soaked wall of distortion (except for the brief opening track). While I do enjoy the muddy lo-fi soup that the band is known for, the tracks here capture more nuance and a range of emotions that their other albums lack. The tracks here are warm with reverb, not fried. Feedback is present, but not all-encompassing. Instrumentation is actually discernible.

“The Last One” is an epic psych rock jam, the centerpiece of the album, and you get two takes of it (B1, D1). “Wilderness of False Flowers” (A3) and “Vertigo Otherwise My Conviction” (C2) are also solid high-energy freak-outs. Other tracks are prettier, mellower, and even melancholy at times. I don’t speak a word of Japanese, but the nostalgic “Memory is Far Away” (C1) makes me tear up every time I listen.

Wasteland Jazz Ensemble – “S/T” – [Gilgongo Records]

Albion Moonlight   2/9/2023   12-inch, A Library

Albion Moonlight 2/12/2023 12-INCH, A Library

Describing themselves as playing ‘destroyed music’, the Cincinnati duo of Jon Lorenz and John Rich expand their soul-sucking feedback-saturated reed work into a 7 piece group including guitar, bass, electronics, and percussion. This release features 7 tracks, ingeniously titled I – VII on two 12″ LPs. Not a whole lot of variation between tracks. There are a couple of less frenetic cuts, but overall this is balls to the wall, unrestrained noise, electronic, full-throated, unrelenting. Noise aficionados may find subtlety and variation within but to this neophyte mostly familiar with free jazz skronk, I kinda felt like I had just had an MRI done. Nonetheless, I applaud the dedication to their ethos.


Distruster – “World War Zero” – [Phage Tapes]

whngr   2/9/2023   A Library, Cassette

Touched Electronic Terror

A truly disturbing debut from local lone gunman, DISTRUSTER unfurls intensely dark industrial, hypno psychosis inducing, psychedelic satanic sex crime sample cult degenerate, autoerotic self-flagella-phyxation, pulsing, throbbing, beating, pounding, splitting, tearing, dying, resurrecting… in an inverted hellscape of perverse electronic derangement. 

Like the genuine mental patient I am, I had heard in high-school that if someone took LSD while viewing Eraserhead that they could be classified as legally insane. I knew this wasn’t true but still, the seed had been planted. Unfortunately, good acid and access to somebody’s (vhs) copy of one of my all-time most cherished directors would never coalesce simultaneously which, looking back was probably an uncommon bit of grace in my often ill-fated existence, and one that resulted in my still not having seen the film (as of February 2023), but here’s the thing… I genuinely suggest not listening to this while on hallucinogens. Aileen Warnous, PCP, Jim Morrison with Tourette’s, Ministry on 11 during 48 hour observation… and reel after reel of highly processed bites from the underbelly of film. There may be many more apt musical references that I’m afraid escape me as I am relatively ignorant of this genre… is this a genre? I genuinely have not heard anything quite like this.

Rumor has it that San Francisco based multidisciplinary artist MISTER DISTRUSTER is a slightly reclusive reprobate who has been known to prowl the city streets in the dead of night, probably armed, potentially lying in wait, and is the sole architect of all sound design, assembly, instrumentation, and the creator or primary conductor of visual design on this, his sole release. Further intel has unveiled, however, that there are several others in the chamber so… the less masochistic among us may want to take cover.

FCC on track one: “Coming Forth By Night” 

(There may be more, if I’m honest, but I basically lost my mind after listening to it in full, two times successively. If you hear something that should not be played outside of safe-harbor, try to scrawl it on the sleeve before you succumb. Or whisper it to me in your fever dream… and I’ll take care of the rest.)

SXF – 2022

Vukari – “Omnes Nihil” – [Vendetta]

whngr   2/9/2023   12-inch, A Library

Epic And Hollow

Massively full progressive black/death metal with quiet somber passages, choral elements, and seemingly interminable guitar leads that fill the tracks with macabre noodles (B4 “Saturn In The Eighth House”). Reverberation. Sullen. Malevolent. Brooding. Marching. Technical. Scathing. Seething. Longer tracks wind and stretch through a hellish atmosphere like a funeral procession for the Black Emperor himself, floating through a miasma of sulphuric sorrow. Complex, nearly symphonic compositions with sparing electronic accompaniment like a kind of transgressive opera. One might call it, “grandiose”… if it wasn’t so bleak. There is a perverse dichotomy that manifests between these two poles. I am not impressed by guitar virtuosity, possibly a relic of my Gilman street days where a single guitar solo could get you booed, banned, or bludgeoned, but everything else is so keenly honed and filled with unmitigated fury that even I can overlook the obscenely protracted flourishes. 

Vukari are a four-piece out of Illinois, currently signed to Vendetta Records, and active since 2013.

Chicago – 2021

Lvcifyre “The Broken Seal” [Dark Descent Records]

atavist   2/7/2023   12-inch, A Library

Banshee guitar squeals, blastbeat attack, London’s Lvcifyre redirect the bedlam in a split moment from one structure to the next in rapid succession on their third full-length. While some death metal contemporaries are lashing their guitars into some truly disquieting tones, in contrast Lvcifyre has a decidedly 90s vibe to this reviewer, a harkening back to older traditions. The technical mastery is there, so where does the band’s individuality begin to reveal itself? One indicator is “Headless Rite”, with a rhythmic structure that leans almost progressive. Partake of various depravities in the lyric sheet, soaked in devillust. Pretty consistent, track to track. With the closer, “Black Mass”, they set the table with a slow procession before lifting their knives to carve into this death metal corpse.

John-Pauls, The – “Bon Mots” – [Aagoo Records]

humana   2/6/2023   A Library, CD

This Texas band is quite catchy with its guitars and alternating male and female vocals that deliver quite pleasing post-punk rock ballads. The music made me think briefly of Modern English and the Dwight Twilley band, but The John-Pauls have their own fresh sound. This is pretty great stuff.

X.Y.R. – “Aquarealm” – [Not Not Fun]

humana   2/6/2023   12-inch, A Library

This is absolute analog synth heaven from Russia with love. Combined with field sounds, you are transported to the pulsing depth of the ocean. The vinyl is sea-green, and there’s not a track on here that isn’t mesmerizing in its fluid ambience–it’s almost like being transport to the womb, but with so much more room to float, swirl, and dream. I dare you to listen to this and not visualize the enchanting exhibits at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Procer Veneficus “The Cold Gloaming” [Students of Decay]

atavist   2/6/2023   A Library, CD

Noble sorcery in the form of hyper-processed guitar drones, processed to the extent that nearly all traces of recognizable guitar sounds recede into the shadows. Reverb blankets the windward side of the Santa Cruz Mountains and spills over to the Bayside like a rolling host of wraiths. There is ritual intent here. The midnight hour set the scene for the original audio capture. Thus the sounds for summoning ghosts are properly prepared. Turn this up and feel their cold breath on your neck.

Thrift Bakery – “Hard and Sweet” – [Beautamous Loaf International]

karma   2/5/2023   A Library, CD

Fourth release by Thrift Bakery, founded in the 80s and regrouped in 2011. TB describes themselves as indie pop (with folk, rap, and shoegaze influence) and experimental rock vocals. Quarantine Pandemic Blues and Sending All My Love to You talk about the unique horrors of 2020. These songs, like the rest of the album, are upbeat and thought-provoking. It’s hard to think of a favorite track, but I would probably say the indie rock-based Sending All My Love to You (track 6), rap about a modern day Count of Monte Cristo (5), and indie-roots Arthur McBride and the Sergeant (track 11).

Backstabbers SJ, the – “Backstabbers SJ, the” – [Beautamous Loaf International]

karma   2/3/2023   12-inch, A Library

Punk rock from longtime Bay Area community members (drummer Vince De Leon is a friend of the station and runs an excellent barber shop in San Jose). This album gives me Dead Kennedys and MDC vibes. It takes you back to a Bay Area when there weren’t grass-fed kombucha bars on every corner and housing was actually affordable. As the band name would suggest, a lot of the songs are about betrayal, so I’d sleep with one eye open if I were you. That is, if you can sleep at all after listening to this high energy album.

Crisis Man – “Asleep In America” – [Digital Regress]

whngr   2/2/2023   12-inch, A Library

High Energy Rock n’ Roll

Accelerated and emotive, these are sounds of progress with sweat, tears, and blood soaked strings that reverberate through our flesh suits. Rattling free the cobwebs and dust of acquiescence with considerable variety in structure and delivery; shaking the corpus into action, propellant and visceral with delicious synthy interludes. I am reminded of the sounds coming from N.Y. through Toxic State Records, beautiful in its rebellion and aggressively danceable. 

This five-piece is fronted by author, Ross Farrar (Ceremony) from San Francisco and graduate of U.C. Berkeley, “Asleep In America” feels deeply examined with an air of intellect but the delivery is from the heart or maybe the loins. Vibrant and evocative. Ben Wright (Acrylics), Jess Sylvester, Nick Vicario (Autistic Youth) from Portland, OR, and Shawn Mehrens (Abi Yoyos).

Santa Rosa – 2022

Microwaves – “Discomfiture Atlas” – [Three.One.G]

whngr   2/2/2023   12-inch, A Library

Perversely Frenetic Angles

Aggressively fractured art-rock with metallic elements and irregular time signatures applied with strange vehemence. Full sounding and note-intensive, the tone is a kind of disturbed resignation to a bizarre landscape that lacks optimism but perhaps not whimsy. A kind of mid-western Jazz is reprezzented on more strings than should be on an electric guitars with played with technical aplomb and electronic abstract elements. A clever and confrontational outing that might remind one of the illustrious MX-80 Sound or Voivod with spoken/shouted vocals and fever dream lyrics. Noisy and splintered, this is sonic high-math delivered with a deranged pessimism, and perhaps a resignation to eventual extraterrestrial incursion and then… dominance.

Microwaves are Dave Kuzy and John Roman (Brown Angel) accompanied by a retinue of complicit musicians including, Eric Paul (Arab on Radar, Doomsday Student, Psychic Graveyard), Sarah Quintero (Spotlights), Rebecca Burchette (Exosus), and Todd Rittman (Dead Rider).

Philadelphia, PA – 2022

Hiram – “Immersion” – [Home & Garden Music]

whngr   2/2/2023   A Library, CD

Quiet Natural Meditation

Minimalism stretched into almost 39 minutes of contemplative inner discovery with accompaniment by crickets, birds, empty space, pensive flute, possibly some sort of synthesizer, and your own inner dialog. Put this on before your Reiki treatment, ignite the white sage, align your crystals, your chakras, and your misguided intentions while you relax into the false security of your laying on of hands ceremony and pretend that you will be healed. Put all of your trust into faith healing and miraculous power of belief as you tell yourself that your suffering has purpose and that all will be well while you enjoy the sounds of insects desperate to mate before their short life is extinguished possibly by the birds that contribute to the duet. Remind yourself that this too shall pass… though in this albums case it will take a while. One long painless track, unless you are a cricket or a punk rocker and then strap in… it’s going to be brutal.

Hiram is one Matthew Himes, interdisciplinary artist and musician from Minnesota who has committed 20 years to marrying “…traditional and natural elements combined with new techniques and technology, forming a bridge between past and present, and connecting self to space.”  (from matthewhiram.com)

Minneapolis – 2022

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