ARTISTS: MP3 Mix Made At Mark's (NO LABEL)
this friend named Mark Wolberg. He's not the rapper/actor,
but you know what: he's certainly a celebrity to me. I've
known him for 9 years. We've been neighbors a couple different
times. Musician, good guy.
I bring Mark up because
of this compilation I'm reviewing; it was made entirely
of songs he'd downloaded from Audiogalaxy. One time I was
over at his place and he sat me down at the computer, gave
me a blank CDR, and told me to fill it up. I just started
double-clicking on shit, songs here and there that sounded
interesting. When the disc was filled and burned and all
done, I realized the songs were more or less in exact alphabetical
order, and that I had run out of space after only making
it to F. Maybe in the next issue, there’ll be a review
of a special new CDR called Mark MP3 Mix Part Two (G-Z).
(Actually, there probably won't be, because he just moved
back to Lincoln.)
I got for part one: Alex Chilton “Train Kept A Rollin’.”
I know all about Chilton’s piss-take of a post-Big
Star career, but believe it or not this is the first time
I've actually heard it. I thought it might kinda good in
that sluggishly ironic/decadent/playful Dylan Self Portrait
kind of way, but it's like a half-ass soundcheck version,
neither ironic nor good. I’d much rather hear Aerosmith
do it. Is the infamous Like Flies On Sherbet inconsequential
“Soul Party A Go Go.” I was expecting some of
that ultra-raunchy 1990s shit he did in Detroit with Mick
Collins and Danny Doll Rod, but this is a rock ’n’
soul instrumental from the other time Williams had a music
career, back in the fifties. It’s a good party song.
The Rolling Stones
“Waiting on a Friend.” As heard on Tattoo
You. Maybe I still have my $1 vinyl copy of Tattoo
You – lemme check the stacks – I do! Jeez,
haven’t even thought about the album in years, but
when this song was on top 40 radio, I was an 11 year old
blue-eyed soul aficionado and I thought it was genius. Remember
the video, with Mick hanging out on an NYC stoop lip-syncing
while Keith and Woody (not playing instruments) walk by
and say hey? I loved to sing along with the echo-y falsetto
yeah, yeah" doo-wop tag that Mick does at the beginning
and in a couple other places. Ah, but heard now, the production
does drag a bit – there is a chink in their disco-ballad
armor – and, Tattoo You is really not that
hot. With it, the roots of late-model 'health club' Stones
(Steel Wheels etc.) are definitely starting to
take hold. (See Between the Buttons review for
more on the chronology.) (But back on the videos for Tattoo
You....there was also one for "Start Me Up"....wasn't
it odd that in the 80s, the richest rock stars in the world
were shooting music videos on cheap analog videotape? Somehow
the Stones, until Steel Wheels, always managed
to stay tacky...)
“Cat Eye Mears.” A version of their ballad about
stock car racing. This band is no more, but MP3 Mark was
the guitarist and, when if someone makes you a mix and they
play music, it's always cool if they throw some of their
own stuff on there. This is recorded at practice, and does
sound a little throwaway and, as a ballad, marred by some
microphone feedback, but it is not without that Tonight’s
the Night template for dark bleary/melancholy/
“Kickin’ the Gong Around.” Always liked
Cab, although putting this song in seems a little too campy/kitschy,
like I’m being all 90s indie eclectic on your ass.
This song's scat section (obligatory, of course) is really
“Minimum Wage.” Awesome. Putting three minutes
of really hot standup comedy on a mix, on the other hand,
is a GREAT example of 90s indie eclectic. I can’t
think of a better standup in the 90s than Chris Rock. Bill
Hicks comes close, but Rock is just devastating. "Bus
boy? That means you take the bus home." "You know
what it means when they pay you minimum wage? It means they
don't give a fuck about you.....You know what it
means when you make minimum wage? You know what they're
tryin' to tell you? It's like, 'Hey, if I could pay you
less, I would. But it's against the law.' "
Bathes Our Home.” Its got the melodica that was all
over Internal Wrangler stuff, but the song is doomier,
the slowest thing they've done. More good music from one
of the better hype-rock bands in a while. Too bad their
live show is so mediocre.
The Clash “Straight
to Hell.” Always loved this one, whatever the hell
it is Joe Strummer is talking about. Maybe some kind of
William Gibson thing about the urban phenomenon of immigrated
Eastern culture merging with the underground outlaw society
of the West, I don’t know. Maybe it’s about
Vietnam. Doesn’t matter, its atmosphere is what I’ve
always liked. I actually just got up and marched around
to the beat just like Mick Jones did, in these like bright
red coveralls, when they played a wasted version of it on
Saturday Night Live way back then. (Man, the song came out
in 1982. That was 20 years ago.)
“I Close My Eyes To Think Of God.” This is in
the record library of WHPK and I play it every time I do
a show. Where did this band come from? They’re some
arty British underground rock explosion of boy-and-girl-group
soul, with all reverb knobs on 11. It’s like Huggy
Bear started getting into both The Band and Phil Spector
as they got older (you know, like 28).
featuring D’Angelo. “Ghetto Heaven.” Common
is like the only rapper, since the beginning of rap, to
make it out of Chicago, and that was when he moved to Brooklyn.
You know, I've tried, but I've never gotten into a single
Common track. I gave him another chance with this one –
it’s okay, not bad, but verges on pop, without being
especially memorable. In fact, I can only vaguely remember
it right now.
Famile. Two songs: “Rallying the Dominoes” and
“We Don’t Say Shut Up.” Awesome! This
is just what they were doing when I saw ‘em live at
the Fireside Bowl like 18 months ago. Crazy yelps and theatrical
chants. Cute girls in nurse outfits with all kinds of athletic
brothers and husbands in hospital scrubs, kicking out crazy
yelps and theatrical chants while the band kicks out nervy
taut punk-soul grooves!
“Encrypted.” I’ve got to admit I can’t
remember this song at all. Maybe I was in the other room
the whole time. On second listen: Holy shit, I did hear
this one and I wondered who the hell it was because it sounded
like Lenny Kravitz or some other 101.9 The Edge modern rock
(s)hit. Now that I know who it is, yeah, some of that lead
guitar is kinda raunchy and OTT, but then again so was Vernon
Reid, and the song overall is a disappointment of near-Kravitz
Eels “Spin Age Blasters.” They’re the
best. The best punk rock band other than the Stooges. Period.
(Runners up: Motörhead, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Black
Flag, Clash, Buzzcocks, your favorite punk rock band other
than the Stooges.)
“Southern Girl.” A year and a few days ago,
at Mark and Trixie’s 5th Annual New Year's Morning
Eggs Benedict Breakfast For All Their Friends, they were
playing a whole CD by Erykah Badu. I had to ask Mark who
it was, the way it was stretching out kind of lushly, with
a somewhat surprising Astral Weeks / early Tim
Buckley vibe. He told me, and I said, "Erykah Badu?
Why, that's Andre 3000's baby-momma!" I got this song
"Southern Girl," which is slow, but it's more
funk than lush, with a slow groove that is actually a litte
bit, well, stanky. As is the way she sings the
title for the chorus....
“Love Japanese Style.” In a way the same kind
of tricky yelp-punk that Danielsen Famile do, but they’re
more about hedonism and it's cranked up much faster so that
it's much more fragmented. Pretty amazing band, and good
live, though a little can go a long way.
“Feeling Yourself Disintegrate.” A nice new
stripped-down take on a beautiful song, recorded for the
BBC. The ultra-produced-by-Dave Fridmann version on The
Soft Bulletin is still the most wondrous way to hear
it, but tracks like these are why file sharing is great.
It’s just an outtake floating around out there in
the ether, and if someone happens to access it on their
computer, no one’s losing any money because the performance
was never really for sale.
Flaming Lips “Riding
to Work in the Year 2025.” I’m kind of sorry
I downloaded one of these full-mixed versions of the Zaireeka
songs. It’s pretty cool, but I don’t ever want
to listen to it again unless it’s on some combination
of the 4-disc set, which reminds me that I need to buy that
before the repressing sells out.
“Gospel Me.” Oh shit, this is Mark himself doing
a little solo demo. I heard him play live on KRNU once back
in Lincoln, and I still remember songs he did that night,
like one dark rockabillier that went, “You’ve
got a head full of leprous intent.” I say “oh
shit” because, like Erykah Badu and the Dirtbombs,
I wasn’t really listening while his song was playing,
although I do remember thinking “I wonder who this
is?”, and that it did indeed have that same lo-fi
Tonight’s the (late) Night sound
that the Black Dahlias have/had.
And folks, that’s
all that fit on the CDR!
ARTISTS: Radio Action I,
free103point9 Audio Dispatch 08 (FREE103POINT9)
Dispatches 06 (Sightings) and 07 (Matt Bua + Matt Mikas
+ Tom Roe) were both already reviewed this ish, and now
here's 08 too (looks like they're putting out dispatches
more often than I am!). On this one they're back to their
old various artists mega-mix tricks, this time with a theme:
"Sound works with and about radio." A lot of the
in-house Free 103 names appear, like Seth Price, Matt Mikas,
and Transmaniacon MC, but there's also some 'ringers' on
here, like Monotract, Dymaxion, the SB, Japanther, and the
Laundry Room Squelchers. Of course, I just listened to Monotract's
track and I have no idea what I even heard. Just sounded
like atmospheric static. Just listened to it again, louder:
sounded like the Pagu LP! (Reviewed in this ish
also!) The SB track is totally zoned-out but there's this
one weird sound that convinces me someone's practicing stand-up
jazz bass in a neighboring apartment. Other bands do songs
that don't use radio, but are just about radio, such as
Neptune with "Marconi's Belief," which isn't bad
music-wise (neo-Magic Band-ish) but vocally and lyrically
sends me the shocking message that John S. Hall apparently
still has some influence on the New York scene. Another
song in the 'about' category is Tantrums with "108.1,"
and they sound pretty good with a girl singer, a good one-minute
No Wave song. They'll probably never be huge like the Yeah
Yeah Yeahs, but everything is fair when you're livin' in
the city. Scattered throughout the comp are nice little
soundbite interludes, like 30 second snippet "from
a panel on 'pirate radio' at a conference of conglomerates."
There is also a "Kids Discover Radio" snippet
recorded in East Harlem that sounds great coming right after
ARTISTS: Soothing Sounds For Collector Scum 2xC60 (SEAGULL
await for this release was long. When it was finally handed
to me by L.E. Methe himself, I learned that the two tapes
came separately. Damn, I was expecting one of those double
tape boxes, like Slayer's Decade Of Aggression
came in, but of course not, this is the underground, so
they come separately, both tightly wrapped in cardboard
by big pieces of duct tape. Behind the duct tape, the surface
of the cardboard has been painted on, or rubbed in dirt,
or both. On the interior side, the cardboard looks moldy.
After tape one spun in my tape deck for about two weeks,
I tried to return it to its 'case', but it simply didn't
fit anymore. The duct tape is starting to rot and shrink.
I eventually forced it most of the way back in, but now
can't get it back out to save my life. (Note the image,
it's the one on the right.) Every track I listened to before
it got stuck was pretty great because they were all pretty
short. It's impossible to keep track of which artist you're
listening to, especially when the track listings are switched
like they were in mine. As for tape two, even though I can
maybe still get it out, I haven't even listened to it yet,
and I've even got a track on tape two. Y'know? Here's the
track list, you figure it out: 1. Edward Ruchalski, 2. Carlos
Giffoni, 3. Cheyntara, 4. Arnoux, 5. New Faggot Cunts, 6.
Anders Ostberg, 7. Das Moustacheprojekt, 8. Lev Zhurbin,
9. Ernesto Diaz-Infante, 10. Industria Masoquista, 11. Sistrum,
12. Noumena, 13. Loki, 14. Ed Rooney, 15. Brian Poloncic,
16. Fantazius Mallare, 17. The SB, 18. Naturaliste, 19.
Honeymuzzle, 20. Gefahrliches Madchen, 21. Sistrum, 22.
The Nether-Carols, 23. FSLUX, 24. SMNA, 25. Magwheels, 26.
Phil Niblock [sic], 27. MCMS, 28. Buttercream, 29. Twill,
30. Toni Dimitrov, 31. Rose For Bodhan, 32. Mammal, 33.
Ashrae Fax, 34. Abscess Opulent, 35. Arnoux, 36. Das Torpedoes.
ARTISTS: Surefire Exclusive Label Sampler Spring/Summer
2001 CD (SUREFIRE DISTRIBUTION)
first few songs are basically what I don't listen to in
indie music. Is this what they call laptopica? Basically
its MOR folk-rock, expecting to be redeemed by its 'creative'
electronic/digital enhancements. Now, as I pointed out back
in the Sightings review, I’m not one of these tough-guys
who thinks rock is exclusively about danger. But at a rock
show, I’ll take danger over laptopica. I just will.
The problem with laptop folk-rock isn't the laptop either,
its more that a cadre of alleged singer/songwriters are
all using the same squiggly computer sounds to cover for
the fact that they haven't done an amount of songwriting
(i.e. memorable lyrics or melody lines) commensurate to
their ego. Message to cadre: Go play your standing-room-only
opening-for-Grandaddy SXSW showcases and leave me alone.
Thing is, I cannot
dis the Surefire Distro Co., because they're also representing
Bulb Records, which is why I have this sampler in the first
place, and which means that this sampler has choice cuts
from Temple of Bon Matin and Wolf Eyes (where’s the
Suaves?). They also represent whoever's doing the Bullwackie's
reissues, which means a couple great reggae tracks, one
a great shaky mellow jam by Horace Andy that is seriously
one of the best reggae tracks I've ever heard. There's also
one of them there "mash-up" mixes. (Is that really
what they call 'em?) Surefire is trying to be the "all
things different" of the indie world, and it's okay
with me, and in fact a lot better than just being all CRUSHING
RULES or DANGER SHREDS or whatever. Fuck those guys. Not
that I want to hear Dan Fogelberg music with squiggly electronics
ARTISTS: Uno-A-Go-Go CD (ROCTOBER)
of the great treasures of the city of Chicago is Jake Austen’s
Roctober empire, which brings us the wonderful magazine
of the same name and Chic-A-Go-Go, which is probably the
best cable access dance party show I’ve ever seen.
was available for free at Uno-A-Go-Go, a weekend-long Chicago
festival for one-man bands that Austen put on this summer,
about the same time he published the the 32nd issue of Roctober,
a “One Man Band Encyclopedia." It has hundreds
of entries that, in great fanzine fashion, use their ostensibly
restrictive theme to touch somehow on just about everything
ever done under the lucky old sun.
I'll need to get out the
encyclopedia to find out anything about the one-man bands
on the disc -- I don't even recall many of these names from
the Uno-A-Go-Go listings. The CD kicks off with a song called
"Superman" by one Admiral James T. Somehow he
manages to sound like a four-piece band -- too bad it's
a bland rock band.
Gentlemen John Battles
picks things up quite a bit with the second track, throwing
reverb all over the place, carried by sped-up Sheb Wooley
samples and his own psychobilly wolfman singing voice. His
performance is much more 'in the tradition.' [i.e. quasi-demented,
Adkins-ish, sounding like one man.] Roctober records themselves
are releasing the album.
Bloodshot Bill is in
the tradition as well, with an in-the-red psychobilly number
that breaks in and out as it overloads its recorder. He's
a fine singer, too, reminding me of Dylan's Basement
Tapes persona gone even more laconically offbeat (i.e.
quasi-demented] while the music has gotten even lower-fi.
You could also draw a line from the main groove of the song
and the haunted vocal style to Springsteen's "State
Trooper" but I'd really rather not right now. This
is good shit!
B.O.M.B. the One
Man Band turns in some punkoid guitar scrape, and plays
some sort of sock-cymbal/snare pattern with his feet to
make it a song. So far the drums and guitar and vocals set-up
seems to be the most popular....that may sound like the
singer/songwriter aesthetic that Austen did not include
in his criteria for the encyclopedia, but these groups tend
to howl and rave it up with few 'writerly' things like,
say, lyrics getting in the way....for example, B.O.M.B.'s
nervy punkoid tune becomes a ballsy bedroom surf instrumental.
like a band, too...Reverend Horton Heat, to be exact. (A
little more laid back, though.) Overdubs kind of take away
from the 'one-man band' concept for me. I'm disappointed
when one-man bands don't actually try to sound like one-man
DM Bob is next,
but its over by now and I wasn't writing while it was playing....I
kinda remember it being again kinda Crampsy...Austen definitely
seems to have a thing for the psychobilly-style one-man
bands. Where's the one-man black metal bands that were well
represented in the encyclopedia? (The interview with Mortiis
is a highlight of the issue!)
Wow, with my heater
on, The G-Man's "Slide/Slam/Go!" sounds like a
combination of MC Trachiotomy and some kind of Berlin techno.
Actually, it's not quite as good when the heater's not on.
The vocals bug me a little bit.
Gary Pig Gold is almost
completely lost with my heater on. Too bad, it's awesome,
a nice little change-up from psychobilly. A disarming little
power popper recorded "down in his parent's basement
during the long-lost Spring of 1980." I get great visions
of a shy 16 year old singing away in some corner of the
house while his parents can't even hear him upstairs. The
refrain of "Cake On My Pants, Baby" may be a little
too much sweets, but the verses seal it.
Next is Goy. Sort
of a metal one-man band, but more of a no wave one-man band
(and no wave is basically metal after college). I think
all no wave is terrific, for three minutes, which is just
how long this track is, and Goy gets pretty freakin' out-there.
Next is the name
you've been waiting for, ladies and gentlemen....Guitar
Fucker! Singing, god bless 'im, his hit song....."Guitar
Fucker." Don't scoff, this song is amazing smiling
ghost train blues that I loved well before I found out who
was doing it and what it was called.
Hungry Ghost was kind
of dark pop....not exactly the Crampsy tard-outs happening
on most of the disc...I have to admit, I barely remember
Hungry Ghost and for the next tracks, by Keen, The Keith
Walsh Experience, and King Louie, I totally lost track.
Mayor MCCA got my attention back, but only because it was
kind of annoying, yet another sub-Cramps yowler. And hey,
there's no WAY that's a one-man band playing the guitars
and the drums at the same time. Goddamit, are we allowing
Ski-Mask and The Bucket
Men "Synthesize Her," on the other hand, is one
of the most incredible songs I've heard in years. It's not
a Prince cover, but it's a better Prince tribute than that
entire Dump album. Even though he doesn't sing it anything
Then, Buh Zombie ends
it with New Zealand-style guitar noise plurging, the only
Handful of Dust-style or Gate-style one-man band on this
disc. Actually he's the guitarist for Chicago's The Goblins,
and his signature as Buh Zombie "is suspending an amplifier
from the ceiling and swinging it for feedback." Right
DE OCCASION: Winter Smog II CDR (HUMBUG)
NZ free-drone. (Except it’s from Norway.) Sawing away
at those guitars forever. “Duo guitar improvisations,
recorded 23.03.01…” Pretty ribald and rambunctious,
gets into some no-wave imagery with a obscene wah pedal
sound and retarded drum pounding (the drum is a guitar).
When the wah gets going it always makes the tape crackle.
I like the way a hard-folk guitar figure emerges after 15
minutes. I also like how it is completely abandoned after
just one minute and the guitar sounds go back to a bunch
of swirling nothing. Refreshingly short release at around
CACTUS SOCIETY: 8 Songs CD (SHIMMY BOOT) An
avant-folk duo in the goofy cerebral avant-folk tradition
of Bongwater and King Missile, featuring DAVE on guitar,
vocals, trumpet, percussion, background vocals, and KYLE
on sax, clarinet, e flat clarinet, vocals. (And, KRAMER
himself plays bass on three tracks.) This record came out
in 1993, which is quite a while ago. I don’t know
what else the singer/songwriter DAVE has been up to, but
KYLE is Kyle Lapidus, who has gone on to be in Malta, Ortho,
and the traveling husband/wife performance duo LoVid. His
reed-work is pretty accomplished, adding a nice airy quality
to what the band does, which is essentially Dave's quasi-surreal
& neurotic coffeehouse poem recitations set to ironic
folk duo music. Sped-up voices and overdubbed background
vocals & instrumental weirdness create a nice psychedelic
variety for what is a pretty cloying style of music. (New
Bohemian Quirk Folk!) King Missile comparisons are easy
but apt. (I think DAVE even talks about his penis in one
song.) In an e-mail, Kyle kind of dismissed Velvet Cactus
Society as a “joke band.” Yeah, me too, I guess.
(But I thought he said he played bass in the joke band…hmm…)
Perfect Strangers 7-inch (SCRATCH
I've seen and dug a couple Viki shows and it's very nice
to have something on wax. From the very first electronic
drumbeats I like this better than all the fashion-show neo-electro
bullshit I hear, and I'm not sure why. Maybe cuz I've seen
Viki put on a couple good shows, and she's not about some
fashion show bullshit. She's from a small town in the wilds
of Michigan, man, she probably hasn't even read the word
"electroclash." Jeez, lucky her. Side two is actually
even doper, being a remix or something by "Lil' Riki."
His vocals are just as lost and disarmingly 'normal' sounding
as Viki's are on side one. Why do I enjoy this record so
much more than the whole Adult. Resuscitation CD?
I mean, they're from Michigan too.
RAMP 7-inch (FREEDOM FROM)
What's up with the Mitten State? Violent Ramp actually includes
Aaron Dilloway and John Olson of Wolf Eyes, who you can
read about just a few inches below, but this is a whole
different thing. Y'see, these guys aren't really the avant-noise
superstars you might think they are, because they're actually
skater dudes. Violent Ramp is a thrash band that only plays
if they can set up a half-pipe in front of the drums so
people can skate while they're playing. (I haven't been
fortunate enough to skate it personally but I did go to
a show where they cancelled once.) I mean, sure it's now
a rule that if you were into avant/psych/improv music a
few years ago, you have to act like you hate it now because
you're too busy rocking out, but these guys are just that
way. And the music is a blast. Intros by Olson are hilarious
and get you almost as riled at home as they seem to get
the audience at the show. Dilloway knows his way all around
hardcore super-chords and harmolodic freak-soloing (you
can't tell from Wolf Eyes), and his vocals are a mad cackle.
Olson and Mike make a killer rhythm section -- these guys
are not a joke band. But nonetheless, VR will surely put
a smile on your face if you like skating or just letting
Bad Earth CD (FREEDOM
of Lucas Abela? He's the guy behind Dual Plover, that label/pressing
plant from Australia. Remember that Kombi "Music To
Drive By" thing that was featured in Bananafish mag
a couple years ago? That was him. Anyway, he's clearly kind
of a genius/renaissance man. This is a weird-ass CD of in-the-red
unintelligible muttering over noise/synth loops/weird-ass
weirdness. Which means you love it, right? It actually reminds
me of the Sun City Girls in its combination of gibberish
and improv weirdness, except Target Earth! is quite a bit
WAMMACK: Scratchy Guitar CDR Bootleg (CHICAGO MEDICAL SOCIETY)
can’t reveal the name of the man behind the CMS label,
an extremely limited CDR bootlegger based on the far Northwest
Side of Chicago, but he’s got an interesting little
obsession with the music of guitarist Travis Wammack. From
Memphis, Wammack was notable for being only 12 when he cut
his first record and having a big regional hit by the time
he was 17. At the All Music Guide, you can read this review
of this stuff by Cub Koda: “Wammack's best instrumental
and vocal sides, 1964-1967. Simply incredible.” This
is decent soul/party music, but I don’t know if I’d
call it “Simply incredible.” Apparently Wammack
was regarded as one of the fastest players ever when he
came on the scene, but his youth might’ve had a lot
to do with that. On here, his licks can be pretty hot but
he’s kind of got an on-the-cheap big-fish-in-a-small-pond
sound, playing quick instrumental versions/interpretations
of pop hits such as “Louie Louie” and “Memphis,
Tennessee,” and novelty songs like “There’s
A UFO Up There.” The result is like the dime-store
missing link between Booker T. & the M.G.s and Black
Oak Arkansas. Ironically, the most abusive passage comes
during a song called “Umm How Sweet It Is.”
Mostly fairly straight, but for a few seconds on the solo
Wammack builds into a frenzy of out-there string bends.
Still no Sonny Sharrock.
EYES: Dead Hills 12-inch Picture Disk (TROUBLEMAN UNLIMITED)
this, Wolf Eyes' first real release outside of the shadowy
Bulb/Hanson/American cartel, will gain them a new audience
made up of all those Champagne Kiss and Rogers Sisters fans.
If so, I hope the newcomers listen to both sides, because
side two contains tracks two and three, "Dead Hills
2" and "Rotten Tropics," both incredible
5 or 6 minute songs, hardcore like "Burn Your House
Down" taken to new levels. I definitely recognize "Rotten
Tropics" from seeing 'em live, and if you've seen 'em
live, you will too. (It's the one where they get the weird
horns blowin'.) "Dead Hills 2" features Nate Young's
most heroic vocal performance ever, in which, about three
minutes in, he turns suddenly into a thrashed-vocal monster.
The side is decorated with a photograph of this very metamorphosis,
so you can look at it while you listen to it.
As for "Dead
Hills," which takes up all of side one (decorated with
"skull/bird art" by "NY" on the LP,
pictured), who knows what newcomers will think of it, especially
if they're expecting something a little more, er, rock-oriented.
I just know they'll say "It sounds like the soundtrack
to a horror film," but I say that "Dead Hills"
is a horror film. It starts with quiet but foreboding
shuffling ooze/basement creak, some of their best sounds
yet, which grows into a screaming shrieking flock-of-bats
beast that quiets back down again just in the nick of time.
(There's even a horror-movie 'montage' sound that happens
once in the middle and is repeated once again at the end.)
Reminds me of the solo set Aaron Dilloway did at the Empty
Bottle last summer; maybe he had a big hand in this track.
Anyway, I've been thinking that Dead Hills is actually
better than Dread....this is a GREAT release.
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