Eat Skull “Sick to Death” LP: This next sentence, and the additional note in parenthesis, is long...U R WARNED! Word around the water cooler is that these blokes've been roped in as late-comer harbingers of some brand new, nation sweeping r’n’r musical genre dubbed ‘shitgaze’, even if for no other reason than promoting a dirty, homemade approach to the recording process, and for boasting bill-sharin’ credentials with the likes of the Psychobilly Horseshoes, Tyvek, TV Guss etc. who were first slapped w/ the tag when it clumsily spilled over into the outer rim of the “mainstream” (it’s a term thought to have originated following reports of numerous members of the above mentioned groups’ preparing for shows w/ trance like meditative sessions in which they would stare vividly at their own recently produced excrement, so as to ail pre-performance jitters; or but from the shit what cakes their primitive recording devices). Obviously one should try as best to dismiss genre-tag’s what’re picked at by such bloated + vampiric entities, particularly when they’re as desperate, cloying and plain fucking retarded as this’n clearly is. Regardless, the winds of shit are rapidly brewing, and it’d be best for you to not let your guard down and suit up before yr up to the knees in it. Bullshit talks; them’s the cards that have been dealt, & I’m sure Eat Skull don’t mind none... And neither should you.
As for the record itself, I’m not sold on it entirely, as “Sick to Death” seems at times a frustrating exercise in what could have been. I much prefer those tracks which wrangle the ferver and intensity of American hardcore, and apply it to a dirt-shit melody (Puker Corpse, Beach Brains, Stress Crazy etc.), over the dense, swirling, oh-god-why-do-i-gotta-use-the-term “ethereal” numbers what’re rooted in fairly tedious “lo-fi indie rock” (albeit with an undeniable punk bent) and desolate / melancholic NZ bedroom pop. But hey, that’s just me (by which I mean anyone w/ balls!!). I can’t get enough of that shit; and an album worth of tense, organ laden basement HC filthy w/ hook-smarts and detritus woulda satisfied just fine. The mind is whet by the mere thought of such, I tell you what. As for the other end of the spectrum from which this wax-Frankenstein were crafted, well let’s just say I’d rather listen to the Clean or Bailter Space or the Sferic Experiment than these skulls’ attempt at an “appropriation” of their chirp, and the same goes for Columbus stable-mates Times New Viking (I personally much prefer P. Horseshit, who appear more willing to experiment and fuck with sonics’ as opposed to merely drowning their tunes in static and ‘deliberate’ production). The LP is a mixed bag’a beans fer sure- it’s charmingly inconsistent; at times sweatin’ sparks of pure punk adrenaline, while others wallowing in a warm + gooey acoustic substance… and I think I’ve given it more than enough spins to be able to discern favorites and least so much so’s. While we’re on the subject, I should make mention the fact that both “Punk Trips” and “Shredders on Fry” harbor instantly memorable melodies what’re built upon a solid, distorted frame; constituting the most immediate and intelligent of modern indie-pop. Oh, but what a dreary void that is! These tracks, as well as the aforementioned rager’s “Beach Brains + Puker Corpse” present the perfect distillation of Eat Skull’s messy and hard-to-pin-down sound, just as the title track did on their previous “Dead Families” E.P. An amalgam of various styles and approaches of past marginal/sub-cultural types been moulded into a fresh, crude and entirely new product. As for the rest; well, not so guutt I’m afraid (the last two tracks on side-B frankly blow hard). Perhaps further listens will reveal layers of the true ‘transcendental’ shit, which would of course require a serious gaze… the kind which might lure one into some grand, psyche-shit-trip, w/ Eat Skull travelling under and above poop-stained hemispheres and scooped outward into spectacular, otherworldly fecal dimensions?! E’NUFF ALREADY!
Shit talk aside (and ain’t it about time), this is definitely one of my most-listened to records of the year thus far, if not one of the best. AMAZING song titles. And yeah that artwork is fuckin’ sick…to death. Released by Siltbreeze. Distributed here- http://www.midheaven.com/
Coming soon; Essay on the decline of Eastern Civilization (1768-1782) Extensive study of my weeks’ numerous bowel movements. More record reviews
Variety, as some chickens cluck, is the spice of life, and every now and then it’s nice to break routine and man off into one’s uncharted territory. So, just yesterday, no sorry the day before… one in which I DIDN’T hafta drag my tired hide into work, I figured I’d skip out on m' morning fluoxetine and bus into Carindale Plaza, to catch of slice of eye-pie what’s fresh outta Hollywood’s eazy bake oven. By arrival, I had a good twenty mintues before the movie started so I 1st wandered into the video store and made a quick purchase (to be discussed below). Elevator-ed my way to the Cineplex, fuck you escalator. The line was short, because the 12-17/y/o’s were in school, and the elderly evidently weren’t able to summon the will + fortitude to take to the two flight of stairs what led up to the ticket lobby, god bless ‘em. I got to show just as the curtains were unfolding, frozen coke in hand and ticket stub hangin’ out my back pocket. Well shit.. Note to self for future reference; show up to flick at least twenty minutes after scheduled start-time... Stuck amongst rows of bored lookin’ couples and dumb old ladies what can’t control their rancid hell spawn (please refer to tubal ligation ASAP), I was left to endure some thirty minutes of pre-feature trailers for the likes of “Hellboy II” (hey this looks pretty sick, actually) and an animated Star Wars feature. A cartoon fucking Star Wars; directed by that corpse-rapin’ nerd George “cocks sucker” Lucas. Fortunately I had my mp3 player w/ me, so was able to blast “Gospel Crusade” at full concentrate, much to the chagrin of the fat-headed trolls who’re cloggin’ the seats around my immediate perimeter. Fuck those asssholes, my bitta’ noise was but crumbs’a COOKIES compared to those gosh darn brats what we ALL had to deal with. This is one little mutant in particular proved something of a crutch to the whole movie going experience; whinin’ and waddlin’ up and down the aisles as a pertinent reminder of why many prefer the “I’ll just wait til it’s out on video” route.
THE DARK KNIGHT (2008) Dir: Christopher Nolan Anyway, D.K. was the picture on show this afternoon, which for those of you who don’t care is the continuation of Chris Nolan’s revamped “Batboi” saga. It’s a good flick, and one entirely (and thankfully) unsuitable for toddlers, or most good-hearted souls for that matter. For depressive pricks like me however, it were more refreshing than the coke to see a superhero flick that isn’t afraid of feeling a little hopeless. Shit’s bleak. The two central characters which represent even a semblance of hope are killed off and/or tuned to villain. Gotham’s civilians are in turn either anesthetized drones bordering on lunacy or hopeless fools desperate for a “hero” or saving grace, and appear to be in about equal numbers as the city’s crims, vills and genuine psychopaths (one scene literally splits these two into separate factions, with neither group coming across as more respectable, stable or upright). There is a grim undercurrent to the entire film, certain scenes drip with a melancholic creep what’s accentuated by moody, swirling camera work. In spite of this the film is still rife w/ humor, whether intentional (civilian reaction to spectacular events ie; man dropping his hogey after batcycle springs forth from battank) or not so much (namely Christian Bale’s put-on “Batvoice”, which reminds one of the Lindsay Bluth character in Arrested Development during those episodes when her voice went to shit). Also, Alfie Caine’s one-liners never fail to invoke a kind of British limey cunt wit that some might find amusing.
The acting is top notch, if not expectedly wooden in parts. Bale portrays Bruce Wayne as an impulsive erudite billionaire, with that same kinda snarling cockiness that made his American Psycho character such an enduringly unlikeable prick, and he “fills out” the batsuit in a manner what puts that rodent Keaton to shame. Gary Oldman, one of America ’s greatest living assholes...sorry, actors imoh, is a proper HOOT in his role as pro-vigilante, gritty NYPD BLUE-esque police lieutenant turned commissioner (spoiler alert!). Morgan Freeman exudes the same world-weary dignity what he has brought to every semi dramatic role of his post-SE7EN. His token-black-mentor-with-voice-as-smooth-as-fine-aged-port schtick may get some folks’ collective goat, but the shoe doth fit, and who could blame the man for merely wearin’ it?! Maggie Gylenhall is perfectly adept as smart damsel drawn between two headstrong beaus, and is considerably better looking than Katie Holmes (am I right guys’?!). Not to blow smoke out a dead man’s asshole, but it’d honestly be a disservice to not make mention of H. Ledger’s bat-shit interpretation of the Joker as a daddy hatin’, vaudeville-styled anarchist; who was set loose by the mob to take out Batman but can’t in the name of proper lunacy do it ‘cause dude just seems to relish in fuckin’ w/ Batty’s mind as much as he does causing mass carnage via hospital explosions and televised death threats. “He just wants to watch the world burn”, Old-man remarks at one point. His sole motivation to plummet the city in a climate of fear + nihilism; and just fuck shit up in general. Makes for a genuinely threatening concept fer a psychotic super-villain, don’it?? Joke’s manic, twitching presence provides a wicked counterbalance to the melancholic grimness of Gotham, and when the two collide the film is splattered in an unnerving, deliberate psychosis. A role to die for? Maybe not, but one what sure makes fer good viewin’. The film looks grate, with Gotham coming across as a crushingly grim and oppressive environment in which nightfall apparently last some 20+ hours; the locale for a wealth of great ACHTUNG sequences what’re spread across various elaborate set-pieces. Throughout the film dialogue alternates between realistic yada-yada blah-blah and general comic-book rhetoric w/ a bit a weight ‘n truth to it (which is again, heavy on the negatory).
Sorry to persist w/ my musical geekery, but I just HAVE to make mention of the soundtrack, which was split between well done chiming drones in sync with appropriately tense scenes (not unlike Johnny Greenwood’s top work in “Their Will Be Blood”) and the orchestral dreck that you have to expect from a flick like this. Really though, who watches this shit for the score??
RETURN TO WATERLOO (1986) Dir: Ray Davies Adversely, music is central to this next thing I wanna talk about, ‘ticularly that of the Kinks’ Ray Davies. That’s “Return to Waterloo”, referred to on the blurb as a veritable “cult classic”, and I’m right embarrassed that it have taken me so long to hip to it, having only previously heard of it in fleeting/passing. In any case, there she was, layin’ strawn out on top of piles’ve other forgotten titles in a wood crate labeled “STOCK MUST GO!” (evidently it wasn’t the most popular item in-store, as three previous price markdowns would suggest). A proper bargain methunk, but it weren’t w/o a nervous hesitation that I sat down to Ray Davies’ 1986 directorial debut, produced near two decades removed from the last decent Kinks LP (Muswell Hillbillies).
The film, much like Davies post-Muswell output, is a deeply flawed product; an existential (ughh..) study in societal dread (ughhh..) that mirrors some of the Kinks’ most pertinent lyrical discourse; sexual tension, social alienation + pressure to “conform”, personal nostalgia etc. If any of this reads as pretentious it’s because this film IS, incredibly so in parts, while others it is (unintentionally) fuckin’ hilarious, occasionally deeply disturbing and at it’s worst, just plain boring. Certain scenes will test both you sobriety and yr patience. In terms of plot, it follows a lonesome middle aged man on his return trip to Waterloo station, who may or may not be a suspected multiple rapist under a city-wide man hunt. Chance encounters are shown with a host of everyday London commuters, freaks (Tim Roth plays a punk what’s like a tamed down version of his “Made in Britain” character) and norms alike, as well as extensive vignettes which explore his own numb, tortured psyche and mundane past.
Much of the film is expressed through the soundtrack, which of course is comprised of tracks from Davies’ 1986 LP which shares the same title (I should make mention of the fact that the record is fuckin’ horrible, with old man Ray’s vocals what’ve aged like dairy product dribbled over bland R.E.M styled 80’s pop/rock and lame synthy wah wah), as well as spontaneous guest sing-along’s from the commuters, where much of the flix’ humor is derived. Cue copious yappin’ about the no good, stud covered “wave of the future” Vs. the good ole’ civilized working-class, in a manner what’s no more or less cloying here than it were on “The Wall”. Waterloo.. were filmed in a late-night-low-budget-Brit-TV kind of way, which is not helped by a notably grainy DVD transfer, and unmastered soundtrack. The overall effect is something similar to garage level (ha!), low cost digital television. In all cerealness, I’m having trouble trying to figure out whether this warranted its six dollar price (though I can’t say I weren’t duly warned), if at least on the strength of it’s sheer WHAT THE FUCK?! qualities. I seriously doubt I’d ever feel inclined to watch this “classic” again, least not alone and sober….
Delayed EAT SKULL review coming over the next few days.
Stream of consciousness fiction. Letters written from friends what don’t exist and an electro chemical imbalance cr-cr-creeps. The tonight show with jay leno, guest asks “do you believe in aliens??”. Dopplegangers of strangers like the pod-folk from Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 Philip Kaufman/Donald Sutherland version). Lastly, brown-haired girl runs across an open field with but a taste of her own spit in the dirt. Her dispassion was alluring, and the scabby cuts on her face spelled a sort of masochistic allure that I’ve come to seek in gurls. What in the fuck is goin’ on?!.
I made this wicked cannellini bean burger after getting off work (I’m a fry cook, in case y'were was wonderin’.. ever chew on a No-Doze pill??) late last night and it was as delectable a sandwich as any kind you could muster that weren’t drippin’ wet with bovine blud. The beans were crushed in a bowl designed for such and mixed w/ pan fried onion and garlic, before bein’ seasoned liberally with red chillies, a pinch’a cumin/paprika and fresh coriander. Flash fried in a boiling stock (pictured below), and served w/ rudimentary salad and a DELICIOUS spinach + brie sauce; this pup were tastier than even the finest slab of rec-curd. I try my best to refrain from meat product of any sort at least twice a week, so as to feed the delusion that I’m living something resembling a healthy/balanced life in at least one aspect, and with a couple of these it wouldn’t be no challenge whatsoever. Went a treat w/ a pair of Canadian Club-brand whiskey & ginger beers (surprisingly pleasant in and of themself), and the Groundhogs’ “Blues Obituary” LP. Better than ma’s own gristly rissole slop, and that’s fer sure.
Hey, this new Home Blitz rec entitled "Weird Wings" rules in ways which I hadn't before fathomed imaginable (well shit, I never bought the Gulcher CD). Why not pressed to 7"?? ...Because 12" EP's are fucking t-i-t-s. So sick!
Reports on tonight's dinner, the new Batman flick and other such niceties are on route. Also an interview w/ PATHETIC HUMAN.
TAIPAN – s/t CDr One of my fave domestic releases from ’07, what didn’t get but a taste of the attention/talk/hype etc it warranted was this four track demo/debut cdr from Newcastle’s TAIPAN. What was shrugged by most (outside a core dead-shit demographic) were a downright NASTY case of raw “Sydney Daggers” thrash, blackened by a sick kvlt-metvhl aesthetic. The muddy, ultra lo-fi recording lends it the quality of damp basement metal; not unlike what Tar Babies or United Mutation might sound like home recording Darkthrone covers. Sputters of primitive punk slop are painted onto these wolves’ faces in shades of petrol-black, under the influence of small-town boredom via some bogan hub bereft of proper skate parks. And what sort of lighter fluid huffin’ cretin couldn’t identify w/ their cause?? The back sleeve denotes my copy a “Kvlt as Fvck” edition of 30 copies, assumedly long gone and distributed mostly at shows deep in the seedy sect of the Newcastle bushland. I believe multiple editions DO exist though, and reckon you still might be able to sweet talk yrself into a copy… the band is “online” insofar as myspace is concerned.. You can find that link for yourself. For further reference a band i/v exists in Cows and Beer Fanzine #3, from “the country music capital of Australia” Tamworth, but methinks these tunes speak for ‘emselves. Don’t you?! ANGKRO WAT “When Obscenity Becomes the Norm” LP And while we’s briefly onto the subject of r’n’r Satanism, and you can bet yr bottom dollar that this won’t be the most thoroughly discussed/dissected (whatever) of approach + genre’s here so is best to make quick mention of “When Obscenity Becomes the Norm”, the terrific 1989 album from Angkor Wat, what sports a member of the most unthrashly (and oftentimes plain snooze-inducing) No Neck Blues Band. This is no meditative, pseudo-jam band type drivel though, what’s on show is atypical ‘89 metal-product that plows through the mystic remains of the Khnmer civilization, carving a black/thrash/hc mural what looks something like a mutation of Grim Reaper, Sarcofago and Negative Approach. A sick guitar sound huge as Mt. Meru, that’s accentuated by typical late 80’s bone-headed (over)production. Vocals alternate between a piss-poor interpretation of Scandi BM despair and guttural, street level John “Bloodclot” Josephisms. Makes for a wicked hey-friends-ain’t-she-a-ripper party album. Record comes adorned w/ bad font layout and even worse cover art, which looks like a hot ‘n bothered Cambodian pygmy, close up and shot with a low-pixel cell phone camera. Back sleeve is slathered in ludicrous band photos of dudes w/ notably pussified names like Bambi and King Bunnie. Killer! And what’s best is that you can still acquire a FACTORY SEALED copy of this 1989 Death Records release from Fusetron’s ever-expansive distro.
RED DAWN II – Live CS KRYSTOFFKRVSTOFFISTON “A Door as Substitute for Two Doors” CS Lastly a couple tapes which have fluttered like plastic moth into the mail box.. Brooklyn’s own Red Dawn II offer a live dig heavy under the influence of cheap Giallo horror (w/ props to Bava particularly) and cheaper Tequila, and it were sent to me under the pretense that it were their “best yet” (came accompanied w/ a cd-r of previous releases, which weren’t too shabby themselves). ‘Best’ is obviously a testing matter of individual preference, well n’duh goober, but it’s a good one in either case, and I’ll leave the semantics for REAL music crickets. Poorly recorded-at-the-back-of-the-bar-or-maybe-one-or-two-or-six-room’s-over and blown so far outward into the red that each track is rendered near indecipherable; it’s an obnoxious + snotty artifact from the hipster capital of the world. The tunes themselves more closely resemble fucked up and blown-out forgotten hardcore than any scabby strand of metropolitan thrash metal, and I’d wash muh jeans before I’d say I had a problem with that. Get real. Something like a dozen N.Y Rippers blurt past and’re handled with “aplomb”, w/ nary a hint of stage banter before endin’ abruptly with an emphatic “I NEED A DRINK!!” from Wolfy, and if ingested correctly it’s a shared sentiment (I settled for a Bundy rum + coke). A rad tape, just consistently raging shit-slop, and one which makes something of an interesting contrast to this’n I wanna talk about next.
“A Door as Substitute For Two Doors”. On show is dirty, ambient trance disguised as black-black-BLACK metal, or traditional B.M. slowed down about 200 times. And you tell me these guys are from fuggin’ Melbourne (w/ members of Paeces, Moffarfarrah and Whitehorse)?! Organ drags through a molted rock base while corroadin’ twin-neck guitar explores the same dire realm what “Filosefm” did many moon ago. Tortured, snivelling moans creak through a mouthful of curdled cogh-syrup, defying practical vocal limitations. For a rough approximation of the sounds therein, one mustn’t look past the artwork, embellished with eerily plain b&w imagery, and a kvlt logo as difficult to dechipher as the band name itself. This is genuinely doomy music for an ill-lit room; the depressive, aural come down after Red Dawn’s high energy thrash-trash shindig. I really am right SMITTEN by this pair ‘o tapes. Both are benefitted tenfold by the rough cassette medium, and both bands and play with a level of spick n’ chaff what transcends their somewhat “kitschy” or one dimensional aesthetics. Pick up the KRYST...(ughh) from http://clothear.blogspot.com/ and log onto guyspace for a RED DAWN II contact.
My first proper dig into unpublished dirty alley’s, is this compact questionnaire with Sydney’s wonderful XNoBBQX. This i/v was conducted shortly after the Siltbreeze licensed vinyl reissue of their “Sunshine of Your Love” release was made publically available for a well-deserved & mostly unprepared international audience. It were a record as apt for that label post-Harry Pussy/Shadow Ring etc. as it were on Matt’s own Breakdance the Dawn.... Proving once again of Silt’s iron-like vice grip on the best of esoteric and exp. sounds from across the glowbe. I was floored by XNoBBQX’s heavy n’ LOUD guitar/drum lunge from-first-listen, a band as musically confounding/ excitin’ as they were flat out HILARIOUS, man; with the citing of Clapton as a primary influence and operating under the auspice of “militant straight edge vegans constipated on McDonalds”. I knew these two must’ve been a couple characters, so I got into contact pronto… Originally intended for inclusion in the shit-canned DA/DM #2.
Matt Earle: Guitar Nick Dan: Drums
Firstly, could you tell us abit about yrselves and about the band?
N: Nick plays the drums, Matt plays the guitar. We've played previously in Antipan but both have been making music for years gradually heading in a more abstract direction. It's shambolic trashy rock n roll really at the spur of the moment, nothing more cerebral.
What recordings have XnobbqX to date released -do any of these stand out or hold special significance and for what reason(s)?
N: Sunshine of Your Love (Breakdance the Dawn/ Siltbreeze), A World Without Elbows (Smell the Stench), Roast Spit Sessions (Breakdance the Dawn), Roast Spit Single (Root Done Lonie for Cash), Blues (The Seedy R!), BBQ Nite (Diagnosis Don't), s/t xNoBBQx picture disc (Pulled Out).. I like them all, maybe the more spaced out ones like Blues..
Matt, can you tell us about this scene of sorts, currently being cultivated in the Blue Mountains region of NSW, and how this ties into yr 'Breakdance the Dawn' record label?
M: It’s all about space and time, alot of musicians have moved from Sydney to the blue mountains over the past few years, mainly because it is so expensive in Sydney, all culture is outlawed (except mass culture), its a money town, it is very hard to find a space, venues are continually shut down because of noise complaints or financial impossibility, in the mountains it is still possible to find an affordable space without noise restrictions & have the time to use it. BREAKDANCE THE DAWN was established in 2004, there is 57 titles in the catalogue at present, mostly on recycled tapes.. These are available at http://breakdancethedawn.com/
Siltbreeze; How did you come into contact with this label and what recordings have you allowed for release from them? I've already spotted comparisons to early Siltbreeze groups, Harry Pussy, Un etc... do these claims ring true?
N: Only insofar as that it shifts the goal posts
M: Brian Turner at WFMU played some of our music led to the interest from Siltbreeze to do a reissue.. they contacted us on myspace. I think there was a Harry Pussy CD lying around when we recorded Sunshine of Your Love and one of my friends said we sound like them but they're not a direct influence.
What are the influences?
N: Not Harry Pussy and Mouthus, they're just reference points for hipsters. Probably each other and the musicians around us. I don't think xNoBBQx really gels with bands that play on bills where they all seem to sound the same. Punk is fuck you and fuck you to that. It's better when people are trying new stuff.
M: PSF stuff from the early - mid nineties mostly.
Matt, your guitar sound is heavy on feedback, and not “traditionally structured”.. How important is it that you develop different moods & patterns; are there any specific influences on your playing?
Jimi Hendrix, Masayuki Takayanagi, Otomo Yoshihide, Tetuzi Akiyama, Keiji Haino, Taku Sugimoto, NanjoAsahito, Kojo Hiroshi, Adam Sussmann... 'different' patterns are not so important, it's faith and danger that’s important, the weightless joy and the heavy sadness; 'the gift of life/the gift of loving death' .
N: We are neither 'traditional' nor 'authentic'.
And Nick, drums. What equipment do/have you use(d)?.. Video shows you beating a fallen drum kit with what appears to be a pool cue…Is this typical behavior?
N: Mostly regular drum bits, I built my own kick drum out of a washing machine, cymbals with holes grinded/drilled out, lots of tambourines/ things that rattle, threaded metal rods as sticks,.. started getting into bells.. The big sticks are actually real drum sticks, I think pool cues would be broken by now. I try and use things that won't break but something usually does...the kit or me. I just play on feeling.
Do XnobbqX prefer the studio-recording or live setting and for what reasons?
N: Both are good...I like drawing off the energy of the crowd... Keeping people on their toes and confused at the same time as getting the ladies back on the dance floor.
You present yrsleves as militantly straight edge; to what extent do drugs and stimulants lend themselves to rock and roll?
M: When Keiji Haino (fushitsusha) said 'I don't need to take drugs, the music I play is more psychedelic than any drugs' I agree with him... shit man try the new xBoBBQx LP, it will fry your brain. Better than any acid!
Ever since I’ve been old/retarded enough to care about such petty things, I’ve gravitated towards vinyl over cd, mp3 etc… and I’d be the first snivellin’ chud to admit it’s at least as much a matter of “aesthetics” as it could be chalked up to an “I just like the way it SOUNDS better (slurp..*garble%#)” defense.. It seems that nowadays these “values” are being readily shared and cultivated by most who’re privy to the kinda music P.Twist exists to conversely champion and moan about, and are as easily bein' exploited via straight-to-eBay dealers and sketchy record label dickheads. What with the glut of consistently good-to-great-&-get-‘em-before-they-gone new & reissued vinyl on the horizon and tips of my fingers/paypal account, it’s almost a right PAIN to have to out-pocket $$$ to “lesser”, more disposable formats. Talkin’ thusly I can’t lie and say that I don’t feel a little bad for having been consistently suckered into these low run, cheapo cd-r/tape releases, but I certainly DO go the other way on occasion and when they local, well shit… you can forget about that “special” ltd ed 7” with acetate overlay, ya fuckin’ cunt. Terracid wipe the shit from any vinyl fetishists lips with a whole 70 minutes worth of damaging noise; which has been most graciously burned to flimsy, scratch conducive plastick.
Track one opens in a sort of ancient ritualistic haze, which is not long but invigorated by searing, distorted guitar wail/drones that just sorta lurch over everything, spittin’ venom like some gnarly serpent creature.. Mood develops over the next handful of tracks, from transient and eerily mellow to creepy + claustrophobic. The tension racked up by the latter culminates in track 6, what’s named “Thought A temple” a howlin’ moooaan of psych guitar wizardry that defies ma’ heavy-handed descriptives. Oh, but I try. Throughout the record drumming manages to maintain a powerful tribal-pattern, while (Hendrixian) guitar moves haphazardly, explorin’ every which way but up its own anus. Elsewhere, Middle-eastern sounding, “post-asiatic” acoustic guitars are peppered through the mix, and cold space-shuttle electronics are never but a stones throw away from the proceedings. Penultimate track “Charming Globes” wanders around some lonely, uncharted planet, mumbling delirium and gatherin’ a thick coat of space dust before being blown right back through to the back of yr pug skull via the electro-acid freakout of “Midnight”, Skies’ OUTSTANDING record closer. Terracid are definitely my kinda jam band (shit, it’s difficult to even comprehend that this’s a solo-venture). And by making mention of that I’m not trying to allude to what T’s chemical/herbal influence may or more not be, it’s just that HE clearly don’t run from that much-maligned term and well, god bless ‘em for it. This is the second Terracid release I’ve had the opportunity to digest, the first being last years’ “Glass Baudelaire” cassette on the always reliable and interestin’ Inverted Crux label. A great compact disc she is; yet another unclassifiably exp. gem from Orstralia’s absolutely THRIVIN’ sub-underground. I ain’t never gonna buy vinyl again..
I first came into contact with one David Sutton of Leaf Leaf records shortly after having become aware of the release of CAR COMMERCIALS “Judy’s Dust” LP, and stumbling upon several notably “mixed” reviews where the consensus seemed to be that it were that it were an undercooked, semi-retarded Half Japanese/Smegma-esque nightmare, without even a semblance of a HINT of proper form or structure in plain sight. Naturally, I was intrigued and knew I HAD to suss out a copy of the disc for myself. Rather than tuck-my-junk and spend the unjustifiably steep fortune of some $50AU, which was the rough pound-to-dollar translation of how much UK label Cenotaph was unloading off onto their few sub-pacific customers… I desperately emailed Dave for a copy, and fortunately he was enough of a sick bro to have me shipped a copy direct from New Jersey, U.S. for a princely and well-reasonable $20PPD. Well, suffice it to say the LP did strike a chord with me right from the get-go. I had heard the previously released “Jar” 7, which in all honesty I can’t remember having given more than a quick cursory listen, and maybe a couple lethargic/warmed over followups, before filing it away amongst rows of similar-but-different abstract hubballoo. I knew by memory that I was definitely into it, it just wasn’t something I had ever really felt completely obliged to revisit with any kinda regularity. In any case this LP was somethin’ else entirely, a beastunlike what I had been hearing as far as new releases were concerned from at least the last year or so, but obv. in debt, at least in part, to marginal and “outsider” sounds of decades' past (namely the two mentioned earlier; among a laundry list of others whereby passively listing them off would only be a disservice to the kick and singularity of J.D.) and something I’d sure many would be just as happy NOT having to hear.. EVER! As far as I’m concerned though, “Judy’s Dust” were a disjointed modern masterpiece (no fuck off, not “Messterpiece”..that's not even a WORD mate), the stimulus for me to seek out more noisy artifacts from this bunch. So as quick as I could drag myself away from the overworked turntable and on to my email box, I bugged top bloke Dave with due praise, before anxiously inquiring as to whether I could hear some more of what that him and his “collective” had been up to music wise, and he done GREAT and sent out a veritable wealth of good shit. I’ve had a while to listen to these, some of which are months… years old, hastily booted onto recycled, case-scratched cassette’s and the like. Some, by contrast came dressed in elaborate and eye catching fabric/packaging, like creepy little pieces of art. I’ve listened heavy and intently under every which condition I seen fit …sitting content, layin’ strawn out, sipping robotussin, readin’, sleepin’, writin’ etc. Was good times all round, and well worth a write-up..
CAR COMMERCIALS “Grant’s Dead” CS65:
Long one from the CC’s, and it’s a doozy! No discernable template or framework which these tracks were built upon, just wicked hints of childlike rythmn/melody here and there, parts lingering past their welcome, others burning out well before any kind of momentum is built, in defiance of easy classification and much of an audience. As frustrating as it is entertaining, and about as entertaining as you’re likely to find within whatever skeletal realm it is that the CC’s exist. This is a killer tape, a fuckin’ rager even, but that was to be expected and by the time I was done with it, I was ready for something else entirey…
That’s KING DARVES, who doses out a full length CD-R and one half a split tape worth of wretched introspection; jam-packed with well-worn tunes which run the full gamut from miscreant, folksy singalong’s, to stoned guitar noodling, and a few tracks worth of honest to god STOMPIN’ r’n’r what’ll shake the cobwebs and cookie crumbs outta yr beard. Wheezy campfire/sundown blues, distracted by droning/electronic tape manipulations and hallucinogenic noise. 200LBU blog calls Darves a “one man Meat Puppets”, and I’d hafta hazard a guess that zine’s curator was stumbling for an easy reference point at the time, what with how KD’s totally UNIQUE sound can’t be so easily relegated to a simple half-liner, but aptly enough it fits the King like a tattered, puke stained robe.. Do they grow peyote in Jersey??
HELLMOUTH “Adelaide Moans” CS26:
It’s near two months into Australia’s winter and the cold is only just now (barely) being felt. Now I truly do LOATHE shitty winter 7am’s as much as the next true maroon blooded Queenslander, but I’ll be flat out bullshittin’ if I said that the cold didn’t make for good early morn cassette listening, and Hellmouth is fit for that schedule like you-don’t-know-what.. Quiet, barely there drones and swirling “found sounds” creep under yr sheets. Spatters of noise fall in sync with them beads of cold sweat tricklin’ down your forehead, or that mist out yr window. Otherworldly vibes?? You bet! Smoke a joint to this near dawn, and you’ll wanna stay in bed all day long (or at least ‘til the heat kicks in around 11:00). What; You got something BETTER to do today?! Didn’t think so…
FRIENDS AND FAMILY "Death Anxiety" CDr: Apart from Darves, the only other CD-release which was snuck in with all these tapes was one entitled “Death Anxiety (The Creek)” by perhaps what’s Mr. Sutton’s most reputable(?) non-C.C. group, the Friends and Family. A three year old release recorded live reel to reel, “The Creek” is thematically similar to any given Car Commercials release, in that all the listener is certain to expect from each “song” is a track length and maybe even a title, and it to be somewhat abstract and/or noisy while consciously avoiding the many trappings of creatin’ noise solely for it’s own sake. The difference being that this is tenfold more sonically intense, rather than playfully paranoid, and it is deliberately so. Blood-pudding dense and skull beatingly tense... by the time the slurred vocal chants wander in near the end you’re already a mess, trapped under layers of murk and scuzz. First reference point would be last years’ terrific LAKES CD/LP, and if you liked that one as much as me, than you should like this just as much as that. Perk up or the last two tracks will put you to sleep, sweet dreams buddy! A sinister release; not for everybody, sure, but I’ve come to find that the best stuff never is..
And we’ll leave it at that: Sure there were other pups in the pile, some of which I still haven’t managed to wrap the head around, but that’s a discussion best saved for later. Or never. And hey maybe if you’re lucky, DS and the Leaf Leaf might be able to hook you up with a bunch of these for yrself. (firstname.lastname@example.org) It’ll make your day like it did mine. My only gripe was that I wasn’t able to score a copy of the Home Blitz/F&F split cassette, ‘cause the masters had mysteriously vanished, presumably somewhere deep 'n green under the Jersey Underpass.. If anyone could dub me a copy of that one, it’d be much appreciated!!
So while I was writing that there intro-spiel, the mailman rode past w/ some "tasty" parcels strapped to his person, which funny enough were stuffed full of RECORDS. To get back into the swing of amateur-criticism, I'm gonna give em' each a short n succinct write-up as I'm listenin'..
Alphabetized for your convinience;
ADAMS, DOUGLAS "Light Rain" LP: Spiritual, loner-folk as played by this violin wielding beardo, and a host of likeminded guest musicians. Notable for being reviewed in the Acid Archives(?). Sonically, this is pretty fucking boring. I don't really want to say "Lo-fi Cat Stevens", but I guess I just did, didn't I?? (Bio-Centenial)
ANALS, THE "Commando of Love" 7": I am TOTALLY into all these recent releases from the highly incestuous 2007/08 sect of French weird-punks (Feeling of Love, Plastebeton, AH Kraken etc), and this Anals disc is definately another winner. Too short? Of course.. Like the back cover advises, "Just try Anal Love".. (Sweet Rot)
FRAUEN VON AVIGNON "s/t" 7": Good minimal cold-wave from the right place and time for such, Germany 1981/82. Sloppy, punk influenced guitar work what's played over sparse & mechanical everything else. Chalk up another "dunca shun" (spellcheck) to Was Soll Das ? (WSDP)
GARY NUMAN/TUBEWAY ARMY "1978" 12"EP: Great, albeit somewhat generic UK punk/pub slop by future Soft Cell member. Nothing special "on first listen", but I like it just fine and all. And I payed like $3 bucks for this thing on eBay.de .. Unrelated; I will pay at least 20 times that for AFFLICTED MAN's "Musical Bag" LP. Anyone?! (Beggars Banquet)
GURU GURU "UFO" LP:
Killer gatefold reissue of one of my fave acid/psych LP's of the 1970's. SICK!! (Wah Wah)
LOVE TAN "s/t" 7": Dumb fucking band name (what once was PYRAMIDS), with a couple decent tunes so as to not render the record worthless. Really though, Love Tan is a shitty moniker and at least half the tracks on this 7" don't stick. Standout tune is definately no. 2, "Brush Your Teeth", an instantly memorable angular-pop-dance-thing.. This record actually reminds me a lot of INTELLIGENCE's last full-length "Deuteronomy".. That one was a grower, here's to hoping that this'n turns out to be one too.. (Sweet Rot)
MONOCHROME SET "Love Zombies" LP: Not into this at all. Inflated interest in marginal German minimal synth has blossomed into some strange, surely fleeting appreciation for all kindsa tripe, even overproduced, major-funded eurotrash like this. Earlier material is definately worth looking out for. (Virgin)
ROBOT ASSASINS "s/t" 7": Got this with the two Sweet Rot records. If I HAD to choose a all-time favourite marginalized punk rock derived music genre to devote my entire listening time to... and if it weren't fucked up, drug addled USHC; than it'd just HAVE to be late 70's-early 80's. UK- D.I.Y. Urinals, Desp. Cicycles, Tronics, Door and the Window, Collective Horizo.. yeah you know it all, I could live on this shit.. and so could/have the Robot Assasins I bet. (Total Sound Records)
THE WIGGINS "Feed the Ghost" 7": Well hey, I can't play this one, cause it has the big hole, and my big hole accomodator thing has been missing since last weekend (I'll never drink again!). Still, the mp3 I have heard from this spooky one man act sounded real good, and I sure am glad I was able to snag one of these ed's with the hand drawn overlays. Looks fuckin' great! I can only assume this is another big winner from Texan label Dull Knife, who've so far been responsible for great releases by Hearts of Animals and RFTO Bandwagon, with some RUSTED SHUT vinyl reissues in the works!!. Such a nice guy he even put in a copy of the RFTO CD/LP, which I didn't even have to ask for (though I kinda cut up the front packaging of the thing with the knife I used to open the package!). Thanks Brent.. Your cd's are on their way!! (Dull Knife)
Oh shit, I lost the hook to that second track on the Love Tan (ughh..) 7". Better play it again. Later!
Hey! For the 2 or 3 of you what were wondering what became of my old print zine "Dirty Undies/Dirty Minds", should know that it's done and dusted.. One and a half issues and some 110-150 copies of earnest embarassment tidily shipped around to every which corner of our lovely lil' world to the homes of folk just like YOU. Issue number 2? The Albert Ayler/Oz-Xperimental ed.??..Ha! It's as good as dust. Alice, the great "zine explosion" of Australia circa-2007 reduced to an already yellowing stack of B&W, a humble footnote; its various participants off to bigger and BETTER places (like the internet). Ok, maybe I'm talkin'a little premature and all, I hear that a new "Not Guilty" is well on its way (C'mon Beau), and I'm as sure as Shirley that there'll be enough future issues of DISTORT pasted/printed so as to satisfy even the most curmudgeonly of pro-paper, anti-web, bed-sittin' purists. Still, one would have to be hard of sight and plain fuckin' ignorant to not notice the lack of printed material documenting what's happening TODAY in the (sorry for still clingin' to the term) "underground". There's too much sick shit going on right NOW music wise for me to even keep up, let alone not feel inclined to up and write about... even if it for reasons I don't quite get or care to understand myself.. So hey, if ya can't beat em'.... Primtive Twist, the would-be title for my next actual print zine, which I swear is still cummin' (look for it sometime over the next, uh..3 years?), and the right-now name of this here "blog", which I think you will dig just as much. This thing will focus once again on the writ of killer tunes and esoteric bullshit, of good eats and good-bad music. It'll be my sole outlet for such until I can muster up the energy and uh.. inclination to rip the scissors and glue outta premature retirement. Feel free to drop me a line at either dirtyalley AT msn DOT com, or the email address linked to this page. I'd LOVE to hear from YOU, whatever the "nature" of yer writ. Expect posts to appear sporadically at first, I have a tonne of so-far unpublished nosense to spill out for ya's.. Convenience is king, thank god for the internets. Oh, and thangs fer readin'!