KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Wood, Hank and The Hammer Heads – “Hank Wood and The Hammer Heads” – [Toxic State]

whngr   7/12/2020   12-inch, A Library

Nihilistic garage/punk rock n’ roll outta NYC. Scene builders, heart breakers, and soul stealers since the early tweny-teens. Strut, stomp, long organ pulls, up-strokes, down-strokes, “ungh”, all the way up, dirty lust with abandon, builds, bends, breakdowns, and hooks to the heart. These guys grew up in New York City playing in bands with a close-knit group of friends who would put enough english on tried-and-true form to garner some considerable attention and produce some fucking excellent releases primarily off’a Toxic State. And they seem get around, playing in Murderer, Dawn of Humans, Cheena, Fur Helmet, She Could Be King, anna buncha others.
However, despite how great this album is, it makes me hurt. It reminds me of when I still wanted to take a big bite out of the world. Getting wasted and being in love with falling in love. Daydreaming about the things I could do to, and with, the object of my desire, pining for a romantic maelstrom with my partner-in-crime and ruling the world with our passion. I want to say, to hell with my highly erratic brain chemistry and the misery that I can dispense liberally to those I am closest to despite my best intentions. I miss living for tonight and destroying tomorrow with the chaos that would explode after last call… but I can’t anymore. That ship has fucking sailed. I’m done. My destiny is to wither into dust… alone, hopeless, and hopelessly alone. But I’ll be doing it listening to this, feeling the pulse of their youth, trying feed off their vitality like a fucking pathetic vampire.

Perfect Pussy – “I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling” – [Not On Label]

whngr   7/11/2020   A Library, Cassette

Syracuse noise punk ca. 2013. Formed for a film project with an associate of the singer Meredith Graves whom after the filming had ended refused to stop playing with one another … until 2016. This cassette is their first release of dirty, female fronted, low fidelity punk rock that employs some killer keyboards with serious sustain. Pissed-off, youthful, exuberance that if the lyrics were discernible would most likely be a call to action, righting injustices, and cultivation of equality across all social strata. But when I found them on Discogs I simply thought: That is a great band name and their sound pleases me… I simply can not get enough of that ugly buried organ and the vigor of their (misplaced?) optimism. It harkens back to a distant time before my soul was crushed by a life of despair and shattered dreams. One quick note: the B-side is an identical recording to the A-side but with an even shittier sound quality. Murky and miserable… which appeals to me so I burned them to the compact disk as well. But feel free to navigate the insert and staples to play it like it’s supposta be heard. Analog af baybe.

Dawn of Humans – “Slurping At The Cosmos Spine” – [Toxic State]

whngr   7/10/2020   12-inch, A Library

Hardcore pvnk ravvk from the buroughs. Nawt narmal, guttural growls from the gutter, noisy, nasal, lo-fi, low-brow, ugly, and hurt. Members of Murderer, Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, Warthog, Cheena, Perdition, etc. New Yawk. Toxic State. Inscestual scene. Raw. Neanderthals of bitter, biting, noisy rock. For plotting revenge on your enemies or receiving an astral-plane communion from a 9 pound telepathic rat that you met in Queens one night after getting fired from one of your jobs as a 24-hour hospital supplies delivery driver for taking amyl nitrite and using bandages to do your route as a “mummy” with that medical “honey”.

Interior One – ‘Family’ – [No Rent Records]

Lord Gravestench   7/7/2020   A Library, Cassette

Rusty Kelley and Emelia McKay, who operate the Breathing Problem Productions label, also perform as the similarly named industrial noise duo Breathing Problem, of which Interior One is an offshoot. The difference between the two projects lies primarily in subject matter: while their Breathing Problem material tends to explore topics of eroticism and sexual angst, Interior One operates within the time-honoured industrial noise tradition of true crime, charting the psychic terrain in the vicinity of serious breaches of the social contract— ‘evil’ acts, if you like— with a particular sympathy for the victims.

2019’s ’Family’ EP deals with perhaps the greatest of all anti-social acts: a father deliberately harming the family he is supposed to protect. The artists say: “Interior One is a personal research project . The audience is always secondary. This release is based around family annihilation cases and abuse at home. For perfect fathers.”

T.s 1, 4 and 5 deal with fathers who killed their families. T.s 2 and 3 deal with sexual molestation. This is not pretty stuff, but it is sensitively approached, compiling a variety of primary sources (e.g., 911 calls, personal testimonies) into an immersive, documentary-like experience. The sounds composed by Kelley and McKay themselves — needling electronic synthesis, clattering scrap metal, heavily distorted ranting vocals— will not be unfamiliar territory for fans of power electronics, but all are very well done. The synthesised tones are not full-on headsplitting harshness, but rather seem calculated to convey apprehensiveness and paranoia. At moments they are strangely beautiful. All in all it’s a harrowing 22-minute listen. “There was no specific reason why he did this.“

PGM: t.s 2 and 3 contain fairly graphic references to child sexual abuse.

Irkallian Oracle – ‘Grave Ekstasis’ – [Nuclear War Now! Productions]

Lord Gravestench   7/7/2020   12-inch, A Library

Irkallian Oracle is a Swedish black/death metal band active since 2012. Supposedly the group has six members, but I think there were only three people onstage when I saw them live a few years ago. In any event, the roles performed by all six people are given as ‘various’ on the web, so perhaps we are dealing with an amorphous collective of some kind. Ambiguous though the actual lineup may be, there is real personality and clarity of vision to be found on this 2013 debut album, which was probably one of the cooler new releases I heard that year. 

In I.O.’s musical balance of doom elegance and death metal lycanthopy, as well as in their dead-serious thematic focus on the occult (that’s magick, not satanism), I perceive a fondness for the German group Necros Christos. Also comparable are Nuclear War Now!/Iron Bonehead labelmates Grave Upheaval, Sinistrous Diabolous, Temple Nightside, and Vassafor. In fact, those latter four bands are interconnected via an assortment of overlapping members; and for that matter, at least one sometime-player in S.D., T.N., and Vassafor has also been part of Irkallian Oracle in the past.

In the company of such projects, we find ourselves squarely in the territory of what the contemptible metal journos of seven years ago were known (perhaps jokingly, as if that were any excuse) to term “murkcore”– the implications of which term may include cavernous production, often-lengthy songs, hypnotic repetition of lead riffs, and a poised, serpentine, slow-burning sense of ritual. One could also trace aspects of  this record’s atmosphere back to classic groups like (for instance) Beherit, Order From Chaos, and Mortuary Drape, but seven years after its release I’m prepared to admit that this particular crystallisation of black and death metal aesthetics was of its own moment in time. 

‘Grave Ekstasis’ achieves a really satisfying balance of  implied menace and outright aggression, conjuring esoteric mystery and bestial savagery with equal aplomb. It is sinuous grey smoke from the fading embers of a massive sacrificial pyre, rising to spell out hidden glyphs in the near-complete darkness of some long-forgotten underground vault. Grab hold of its eldritch sigils if you can.

Nakatani, Tatsuya -Monochrome [Self Released]

Max Level   7/7/2020   A Library, CD

Percussionist Nakatani, whose solo releases are invariably live recordings with no overdubs or sound processing, takes a different approach here: He made hundreds of recordings of bowed gongs (17 of them to be exact) and “arranged them on the computer to build the compositions.” Resonant, singing metallic drones layered in different ways makes for an interesting listening experience. If you’re a fan of Nakatani’s Gong Orchestra project, you will love this. Mastered by James Plotkin, whose name attached to any project immediately gets my attention.

Minus 8 – “Remixes Part 2” – [Compost]

aarbor   7/1/2020   12-inch, A Library

Minus 8 is Robert Jan Meyer from Zurich, Switzerland.   The remixes are by Dr. Rockit (Mathew Herbert), Les Gammas, Tiny Trendies (Adam Goldstone from NYC who died at Burning Man in 2006) and Zimpala.  This record is from 2001 on Compost, very early in his career. These days Minus 8 writes soundtracks and other high profile music. All tracks worth a spin.

AArbor

Boone, Benjamin With The Ghana Jazz Collective – “Joy” – [Origin Records]

aarbor   7/1/2020   CD, Jazz

Benjamin Boone is a  saxophonist, composer, and Professor of Music at California State University Fresno. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Ghana from 2017-18). He grew up in the small textile town of Statesville, North Carolina, the youngest of five sons. “My brothers pursued history, literature, art and biology, so I have always gravitated towards interdisciplinary projects,” he says. “I like to make artistic statements that address culturally relevant topics …” While he was in Ghana he performed with the musicians on this release: Bernard Ayisa (tenor sax), Victor Dey, Jr. (keyboards), Bright Osei (bass), Frank Kissi (drums) and Sandra Hudson (vocals). This recording was made the week before he left Ghana. Tracks 1, 3, 5 and 6 are Boone’s compositions, the others are his arrangements. Boone says: “In Ghana music is participatory, egoless, and woven into the very fabric of existence. People live with joy and make music with joy.”

 AArbor  

Laureate – “Eurekaphilia” – [Hospital Productions]

whngr   6/28/2020   12-inch, A Library

EN/PE from Jim Haras (Deterge, Winters In Osaka, Urth, Ilsa), associate of Hospital Records and Fusty Cunt.

Futuristic sonic warfare with asymmetric dissonance.

Atmospheric falling rain, static and electronic effervescence. 

Crunchy simmering white-noise-wall evolves into dark engine chants.

Dirge

Drone 

Despair

Waveform abuse becomes cyber spasms of robot rage

Dismay

Deep

Drop

of the beat. Murdering hard house. Apocalyptic squeals to ritual patricide.

Subsonic. Strobes. Nexus-8 sharpens its android fangs.

Whorls of demonic static. Curious clatter.

A horrifying declaration before The God-head’s admonishments amidst pyrrhic aural Armageddon. 

Copyright © 2020 KFJC 89.7 FM
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File