Friday, November 5, 2010
This month’s column covers the some of the backlog of tapes I have been handed or mailed over the past uh, entire previous year to now, ie tape fest 2010 shall commence! Even though MRR convention details that only music columnists get bands in capitals in the columns section, I am using my coordinator clout to flout this rule just for clarity and understanding since this is a music column basically... First I will comment on a CDR sent to me by James of UK DIY nexus Germ of Youth, who have put out a most excellent 7” by COMET GAIN and the recent double disc of dreamy DOLLY MIXTURE Demonstration Tapes LP. This is his band, VERONICA FALLS. They elegantly, yet with suitable intent to disgust and disrupt, channel the Medway sound along with the more mod TVPs influenced C86-wave. The girl/boy vocal harmonies, band aesthetic and tuff guitar sound make me think of the early days of COMET GAIN and HUGGY BEAR more in terms of hanging out than sound. Total beatnik beach party, watch out for the LSD in the drinks though. There is venom in the sound; this isn’t a cozy reunion of Sarah records fans at an anorak warehouse. My favorite song is about popular seaside suicide spot Beachy Head, made famous in the movie Quadrophenia. I believe all four of these songs are now 7”s , on the sordid Captured Tracks label outta Brooklyn, seek them out!
NEONATES are from LA, they played Marissa’s backyard last month, and I totally enjoyed their nervous yet powerful stage presence. They trade instruments and sort of seem scared and bored by the audience at the same time in a most compelling way. The music is like MELTDOWN playing CHALK CIRCLE songs, two all girl DC bands from different eras that require your immediate investigation if you do not get that sound reference. NEONATES play deconstructed punk, anti-rhythm yet rhythmic like post punk girls that no wavers then carved up. The girls that wanted to make sounds but weren’t that invested in rock convention. I have a tape and a CDR, I think the tape is available from a UK operation called Clan Destine, but you should write the band for more info, they have a myspace, www.myspace.com/neonates. I like bands that sound like they are putting something together as they play, and yet they’ve created a powerful and total end result...
CERVIX are part of the Spending Loud Night NYHC destruktion crew, Amelia’s vocals are yowled out, total frenzy style over metallic hardcore that’s sorta UK inna SACRILEDGE stylee but this is framed in a CONFUSE GAI hardcore aesthetic and it all feels endtimes like ultimately. Comes with a patch for your denim. PO Box 30 NY NY 10276... EPIDEMIA are from Spain and play some of the most desperate lo fi shitpunk I have heard in an age, (un)holy shit... One two one two drums, shards of guitar and (female) vocals that are borne of terror and rage, the rumble of bass serves only to remind you of your puny ears and it is futile to resist! You must send off for this... Except they didn’t put an address on the tape. I tried searchin on the internerd, but only found a you tube entitled “Spanish Crust Punk”... hmmmmmm. Essentialessentialessential.
MY PARADE are from Seattle and play choppy dance punk that’s more riot grrrl inflected that anything I have heard that’s clearly as influenced by 99 records. In short this isn’t some Gang of Four disco beated out cliché; they have this cool SUBTONIX styled garage freak out and you can tell they heart ESG so totally too (so 99 records reference referenced). They are a self-described all POC dance punk band, and I am super bummed I missed their tour with the also awesome AGATHA from Seattle. Dude, someone needs to do a Seattle scene report... email@example.com. SFO stands for Social Freak Out... They are from Chicago and play politically charged punk, it feels like a battle cry and that’s because it is. Songs about creepy “secret admirers” out on the prowl, about protecting yourself and how male attention can be violating even if it’s not violent. About fighting back against oppression, against the rigors of gender, about liberation and freedom, against borders and yes this tape is a fight song... If you are in the mood for some raging, incendiary all female punk attack, this shit has your name on it. Fucking radical, in all senses of the word. firstname.lastname@example.org. I got the SURROGATE ACTIVITY tape along with a letter that discussed the politics of Mysterious Guy Hardcore, and teenage girls in Floorpunch hoodies... This is FU pop punk with sweet vocals delivering a message that veers pretty far from typical pop punker lyricals, then swoops back in with something about lost friendships and cold coffee. You will probably like this if you are on the hunt for catchy songs that are on the punker side of the pop, sung by a girl with a cool voice and a rad way of putting words together... email@example.com
THE GIFT are from DC and feature the ever dreamy Beck Levy on vocals, previously known for the seriously amazing TURBOSLUT... They play gnarled up, epic hardcore punk that sort of made me think of a less coiled up BABES IN TOYLAND somehow?? I don’t know, maybe it’s the dynamics of the songs somehow, but this is hardcore... makes me think of being a furious teenage girl, listening to blown out ’90s hardcore 45s and typing letters to my pen pals in various locations. Not sure I have done a good job describing these sounds, but epic experimental hardcore, lady fronted grunge, dynamic, interesting song structure... Epic sounds like it’s gonna be some horrible tech bro core nitemare. It isn’t! Promise. firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEIRD TV are part of the continuing Olympia trail of destruction, playing simple yet direct and doomed hardcore punk with Lizette’s totally deranged and perfect vocals. I hunted high and low for this tape, the first one came direct from Tobi but was destroyed by the USPS! Conspiracy... Urgent times call for urgent measures so another was hand delivered by a NECRO HIPPIE (thanks Candice!!). Honestly this is probably my tape of the year. Perfect Layla-core. Atmospheric, doomed hardcore with the most destruktive female vocals intoned over it, like Therasa BRAT was possessed by ALICE BAG, Lizet=best singer, should sing for every band, would make the worst band amazing... So charismatic! Seriously, she has the personality and power and emotion that Theresa puts into her vocals, but the total death stare fierceness of Alice... DAMN! But the music isn’t straight ahead hardcore, it’s interesting and multi dimensional and raging... Surges into a deconstruction of the olde standard “Gloria” that’s enough to make you wanna give up on life, move to Oly and make your own band/cult... Vocals in Spanish. So fucking good. I want to form a band now, will listen to this tape every day instead. Get this. email@example.com
I am out of room, but UV RACE tape is also my doomed date tape of the century fuck is this band real????? Not sure how to get one, but you must! I was reminded of the fact that Australians invented punk. These ones took a bunch of LSD at some museum (not a metaphor, a literal reality, a literal literality), and made a mutated CHRIS BAILEY sings for the SWELL MAPS slice of perfection. I believe this is going to be another LP, on Aaaarght! But all of this, the bored yet necessary sometime lady vox, the intoned gentleman that was the one that brought to mind Epic Sound Tracks and Chris Bailey in one of the best musical combinations of invention, wit and genius heard as of recent times. Also from Australia we have WHITE COP who play flailing shitpunk too, but different from the Spanish one. This is blokish and more hi fi, sort of like getting yelled at by a stranger when you’re not sure what’s meant to be happening... “You are a shit” they scream, and they’re right. This is part of the Negative Guestlist empire, an excellent publication that is part of legions of examples of how the Australian punks have recusitated the fanzine format. This is trebled out, feedback enriched punk that feels like an attack, a punch in the face at random, like falling over and getting cut up reallyt bad for the first time in years, the guitars are bleached out, blaring monstrosity like NO TREND were actually trying to hang out in Georgetown. No address but try this www.myspace.com/brisbanefanzine.
More tape reviews will come! I have a whole box to go. Punk rock is an endless adventure.