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Music Reviews

Brute Heart – “Wildfire” – [Water Wing Records]

humana   9/27/2012   7-inch, A Library

This Minneapolis girl trio boasts viola, drums, bass guitar, and hazy vocals. There’s a cool vibe that sounds like a cross between rock and dub. Side A is the original song, while Side B is a tweaked version of it that doesn’t sound incredibly different from the original. Both are solid.

Pretty Lightning – “There Are Witches In The Woods” – [Fonal Records]

abacus   9/26/2012   12-inch, A Library

Well it seems the spirit of Junior Kimbrough wandered off to Germany and immersed himself in the spacey brains of these two childhood stoner buddies… Quite an interesting release from Fonal Records here, not only because they’re not Finnish, but also this really only has slight hints of the trademark freak folk sound, relying instead on some heavy Delta Blues Stomp swept up in swells of krautrock sensibilities from the Fatherland. These guys take the rudimentary guitar-drums basic blues format that’s swept the mainstream in recent years and made it all their own. Melodic mantras drowned out in the droning wash of theremins, organs and shruti box, with hazy vocals peaking out just over the surface. They have an emphasis on the sound as a whole rather than simple hooks and refrains; anyone can play the blues, it’s about HOW you play it. They take one dirty riff and play it on and on like a meditation, much like Kimbrough’s signature style. I wouldn’t call it psychedelic (maybe tracks 8, 9), but it definitely sounds like they lit some incense, passed around a joint and jammed on and on. Maybe we’ll drop the acid another day…

CSC FUNK BAND- A Little Weight

cadilliac margarita   9/26/2012   A Library

Making beautiful music together since 2007, this Brooklyn noise punk musician super-group turned funk collective formed during a jam session of Sun Ras Lanquidity. Their blend of funky baselines, clarinet, horns, rock guitar, and steady drumbeats is classic and modern at the same time. I favor side Bs A Little Planet because of its punchy intro, snake charming clarinet solo, and mellow funkiness. However, both tracks are more than worthy.


Coitus Int. – “Dead Excitement” – [Bunkerpop]

mickeyslim   9/26/2012   7-inch, A Library

Dutch punk from guitarist Marcel Uffing, vocalist Jos de Groot, bassist Heino l’Ortye, and drummer Rob van Asperen. They’re self proclaimed “shy” punks, but??I would call these guys ambivolent punks, just because of lyrics like, “Look, look outside, there’s nothing to get up for,” and, “I’ll wake up and wait for tomorrow.” Also, they describe all the other punks flocking to Amsterdam for the early 80’s squatter riots, while they sat at home eating chips and sucking beer bottles. Played gigs mostly squats and didn’t really like playing shows because of the gross atmosphere and spikey haired punks yelling “Play faster!”

Five killer, steady. heavy bass-driven songs, but none of the instruments very pronounced.??Vocals are diverse, changing from song to song, from a yell to a low reverby talking (with no FCCs). No real soloing, so you can tell it’s really the group itself that makes this music unique and not just one guy with a bunch of amateurs. Stayed together to make a few more albums, mostly along the vein of “I Shouldn’t Go.” LYRIC SHEET AND LINER NOTES! check it…

Nehemiah St-Danger – “Slow and Painful Birth of Nehemia St-Danger, The” – [Post-Consumer]

abacus   9/26/2012   A Library, CD

One-man-band bedroom rock operetta of hallucinatory grandeur about post-9/11 America from this musical vagabond and herald of a new American folk music. Nehemiah St-Danger began his musical career working with CW Vrtacek (Biota) before moving to Oakland. There he squatted at Mills College for an extended period of time, fraternizing amongst the avant superstars and illicitly using the SF Tape Music Center. Since then he worked with Leyna Noel (Pocohaunted), Chris Stroffolino (Silver Jews), and Greg Ashley (The Gris Gris). He currently works with Arrington De Dionyso’s Malaikat Dan Singa. Back in 2005, he sunk into obscurity and began work on this album, picked it up again in 2008 and after hard drive failures, digital reconstruction and rerecording, we have this personalized showpiece of cultural exploration and self discovery. Vibrant layering on 4-track of guitar, percussion, keyboards and various “MIDI vomiting robots” in a sloppy, choppy melodic, dazzlingly complex and discordant aesthetic. Eclectic varieties of blues, folk and RnB a la Beefheart/Dead with the attention span and spiritual energy of a modern day mushroom muncher. We get everything from raga stomps and storytime ’round the piano to wrenching guitar ballads and abstract tape experimentalism. This is truly a period piece for our paranoid yet liberating times.

Darto – “All Eyes” – [Self Released]

surferrosa   9/25/2012   A Library, Cassette

A trio of siblings from Seattle Washington, rockin’ away and kicking out the jams. This is Darto’s debut release, lo-fi, homemade, almost instrumental and full of raw hissing energy. Sounds like the music here was recorded live. Sparse, far away vocals are drowned out by the superfuzz. The music is thick. A subtle synthesizer comes and goes like the violent blowing of a rising wind as guitar/bass/drums pound out and roll away with the rocks. These three like to jam. Tracks have a slow burn, heavy handed sort of grit, Occasionally delving into odd meter and dropping in and out of massive freakout. The smoke rises, fogging up your glasses, in a room full of sleepy people swaying back and forth to the lull of feedback and the crunchy rhythm of overdrive. -Surfer Rosa

Face Plant – “Face Plant” – [Head Worse Records]

Cousin Mary   9/25/2012   12-inch, A Library

Electronic noise from Aaron Coyes who uses homemade electronics to create soundscapes that could pass for industrial field recordings. Minimal, but can stand by itself. Would work for a soundtrack for a science fiction movie involving long drone-y space travel. Not uneasy listening, I liked it.

Total – “Hard and Low” – [Turgid Animal]

surferrosa   9/25/2012   A Library, CD

What you have here is Matthew Bower’s (of skullflower) solo project, Originally a cassette release on Broken Flag Records in 1986 and re-released now on Turgid Animal. This is Bower’s first project under the moniker Total. This album is driven by analog sound and largely instrument lead, post-industrial noise. Varied and cacophonous, riddled with broken loops, moldy fuzz and ominous frequencies. Tracks #1 and #6 echo of each other. The first kicking off with a distant anarchy in the UK . Both descend into a prickly wall of drone, populated with feedback and construction zone musings. #2 houses an analog horn drone. Processed and layered, creating a thick mess of pipe moans and low end hums. #3 brings tape manipulation. Warped and broken loops singing of a haunted symphony of backwards satanists, caroling as they pound their heavy fists at your front door. #4 is vocal deterioration. Anguished and pulsating on a synth-drone see-saw. #5 brings the music home. Solo piano improvisation, soaked in melancholy and accompanied by the occasional clicks of prepared strings or a gritty guitar. Rounding things out with #7, spinning out on a lopsided loop, crackling in and out of samplage. Infectious and oscillating under the heat of sound. This album is a gloomy, murmuring collage. It can be harsh at times, but if you search you will find loveliness. Constant flux and sonic bliss. -Surfer Rosa

Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble – “Make It Stop” – [Training Bra Records]

Cousin Mary   9/25/2012   7-inch, A Library

This absolutely bizarre and unique recording features human voices that are often wailing or distorted with the occasional oddly warped instrumental (using the term loosely) and some electronic noise. The ensemble makes an odd sentence into a collection of words, does a riff on a stand-up comic’s shtick, and warps some Japanese words and familiar song lyrics. Scary or funny? You decide.

PGM: Bits vary from around 1 minute to a few seconds – best to play whole side or part of it and not worry about tracks. Language on Side A at 1:12.

Pinch & Shackleton – “Pinch & Shackleton” – [Honest Jon’s]

Belladonna   9/19/2012   A Library, CD

DJ Pinch (Robert Ellis) and Rob Shackleton, two well known British Dub Step artists. Only this isn’t really Dubstep or Jungle, more of a super deep dark dubby bass heavy escapade. Minimal techno beats throughout, it ebbs and flows with such a natural progression that you can get lost in it. Middle Eastern influences throughout, which add an interesting tribal element and some really cool vocal samples. This is heavy. LOVE it! Enjoy!

TV Ghost, “TV Ghost”, [Sweet Rot Records]

ophelia necro   9/19/2012   A Library

TV Ghost is from Lafayette, Indiana and features Dolan Brahne Hoeft, Jackson VanHorn, Shawn Ghost, and Timothy Conrad Gick. TV Ghost released their first 7,” “Atomic Rain,” on Die Stasi Records. This 7″ is a follow up to their full length album “Mass Dream” (In The Red Records). Two tracks of creepy, rockin’ psyche influenced post punk. This would make Lux Interior proud and work well in a set with the Cramps, Blaq Mummy, Haunted George, Dead Bolt, etc…Disturbed vocals, haunted house organ, a twisted ride. B side has a noise influenced 60s garagey, monster mash vibe .

A Side is “Phantasm” it runs 3:46

B Side is “Panic Area” it runs bout 2 and a half minutes

I don’t know if the music influenced me but…Crime vs Recipe review-
“Phantasm”- Late night body-snatching till dawn going from cemetery to cemetery, dodging bats and rolling in the graveyard dirt with bones in our knapsacks.
“Panic Area”- 3/4ths cup garage rock, 13 tablespoons of psychedelic noise, a whole lot of graveyard spice and a pinch of punk.

Bed of Pain [coll] – [Mississippi Records]

lombard   9/18/2012   12-inch, International

This is an incredible collection of rare Greek folk music recorded between the 1930s and 1950s. As the title, Bed of Pain, implies, there are many sad songs that are reflective of the upheaval (war, violence, urban crowding, poverty) within Greece at the beginning of the 20th century. This is a collection of music featuring the bouzouki (a plucked string instrument similar to a mandolin), which was “the instrument of prison and the hash-den” in the early part of the century, yet was more mainstream by the 1950s, eventually becoming the national instrument of Greece. Featuring some prominent singers from rembetika (music of the greek underworld), it’s a sorrowful collection that will transport you back to Greek port side towns, full of themes of prison, intoxication, pain, heartbreak, and witchcraft.

Lucky Dragons – “Dream Island Laughing Language” – [Marriage Records]

lombard   9/18/2012   12-inch, A Library

This is an ethereal release from Lucky Dragons, with an emphasis on percussion. Gongs, chimes, claps, taps and cranks meld with twinkling, bubbling, squeezing, plucking, and music box sounds. It can be subdued, with spare, chant-like vocals; but things also pick up and can reach a danceable pace, suitable for ritualistic romps around the campfire, drum circles or drowsy, acoustic dance clubs where ecstasy has been replaced with peyote and peace pipes.

Mikhail – “Xenofonia” – [Sub Rosa]

humana   9/15/2012   A Library, CD

This Greek gentleman whose base is London is a Renaissance man???trained as an architect, you can get lost in his sonic designs here on this CD, although he won’t let you. Filled with high drama, choruses, interesting sounds and an occasional harpsichord, this is no slouch of a recording. Mikhail brings his appreciation of the arts to this release dedicated to the realm of sound, which he says is “the chosen home of the stranger.”

Five Minutes to Midnight [coll] – [Mississippi Records]

humana   9/14/2012   10-inch, Blues

Here we have some gospel blues from the 1960s and 1970s , rather austerely sung against guitar backdrop, from the likes of Missionary Mamie Sample and The Sensational Six. Rev. R. Henderson’s voice is difficult to understand in his album closer, “Stop Living on Me.” How many people have you wanted to say that to? Give this a spin and commiserate.

Trin Tran – “Dark Radar” – [Drag City]

cinder   9/13/2012   12-inch, A Library

The hot robot sound of 2002.
Electro, drum machine, keys, sound toys.
One-man fun band from Wisconsin.
Goofy male vox.
Quintron with a dash of Crack We Are Rock
and early Peaches for dessert.
Damaged art punk noise rock.

Iibiis Rooge – “Hespherides” – [Weird Forest Records]

cinder   9/13/2012   12-inch, A Library

The collaboration between Neil Campbell (Astral Social Club, Vibracathedral Orchestra and A Band), and High Wolf. Swirling electronic tones that bounce and reflect. Two side longs of droned out, rhythmic textures. Somewhat tribal, in an iridescent bubbly kind of way. Looping, rotating patterns that almost put me under a spell, very relaxing and full of sunshine.