Saturday, December 13, 2008

AFCGT – AFCGT [Dirty Knobby]/Slicing Grandpa – Big Monster Canadian Coat [Goaty Tapes]

I had so much fun repping Seattle in my Dull Hexen Knife review last week I figured I do a little bit more.
A pretty epic supergroup, AFCGT is A Frames, an excellent act I guess you might call noise rock but that label seems woefully inaccurate, and local experimental weirdo mainstays Climax Golden Twins. A Frames Climax Golden Twins  AFCGT, make sense? Anyway, I saw these guys play a few weeks back and it was one of the most pummeling shows I’ve ever seen. Totally raw face melting triple guitar + drums and bass onslaught. This ten inch (which happens to be the first time I’ve ever owned one, weird; thanks to my friend Jeremy for the present) isn’t as monolithic as the live show. Instead it splashes in a number of puddles. The first side embarks with a fast fuzz workout anchored by a grooving gypsy-ish guitar in between traffic jams of noise. Things changeup, delving into psych freak out territory featuring some slamming, heavy drum playing while the rest of the band gets lost in stuttering wah-wah wilderness. The third track “Submarine Gun” has an utterly awesome, stomping groove while a couple of the guitarists spit out ray gun noises and skronk-with-a-plan. It’s a raucous, crushing number. “Lost” closes the side based around a hypnotic detuned acoustic guitar figure. All the instruments are playing various rhythmic-oriented lines which create a fuckin’ cool polyrhythmic effect. The first side is real good, but the flip is my favorite of the two. “New Punk 4” is just that, great punk shit with sludgy bass and feedback riddled guitar leads until it hits a pseudo locked groove and “3 New Punk” starts up. It’s a pretty blistering chunk of hot white noise/fury. “2 Legged Dog” has a killer not-quite-lethargic groove supplied by the rhythm section. Really great guitarwork here too, all the soloing stays melodic and relevant, turning out some really great lines. “Return of the Leper” ends things on a weird note. The three previous fuzzbombs are matched with a weird sort of back alley jazz vibe. I half-expect Tom Waits to hop on the mic and start barking and crooning. Again, great guitar interplay here. The guitars play parts in unison occasionally which works real nicely placed next to their individual adventures in various directions. Things get pretty rockin’ by the end, with a blissfully intense bassline and sensational drumwork before ending with a relaxed eastern-influenced guitar melody before a full band assault. A great record that tiptoes between sludge punk, psych meltdowns, free folk type stuff and the aforementioned back alley jazz vibes; if you like any of those things this record is worth hearing.
The only other Slicing Grandpa release I’d heard prior to this was a real weird ten inch I don’t remember all that well. So when I popped in this cassette from New England label Goaty Tapes, I was prepared for some more weird shit. And for longest time I read the title of this tape as “Big Monster Canadian Goat” (until I realized that the “C” in “Canadian” looked the same as the supposed “G” in “goat”) which added to the bizarreness. What I got was tremendously thick, mid tempo fist pumping metal vibes with echoing kraut jabber and guitar mangling over top. The thing that piques my interest the most about this, or I should say that I respect most about it, is that this tape is about 48 minutes long and both sides are full on 24 minute metal groove attacks. Totally unrelentless, moreso in a fun way than an intense way. It’s like if you saw a band and they hook you with powerful, triumphant riff and then they just drive that riff into the ground for 24 minutes. That isn’t to say this stuff gets boring or something, because it stays dynamic and engaging and awesome for its entire duration. Props to whoever’s playing drums because they stay concise and thunderous way past the breaking point of most dudes. There’s a great unhinged, whammy bar heavy guitar solo, if I can call it that, in the second half of the side too. On the second side, they pull the same trick. It could be an alternate take of the song on the first side for all I know. Actually, I’m pretty sure it is. Or is it the exact same version even? It somehow seems more spacey and loose than the other side. though I may be projecting that on it. I’m not sure what to really say about this stuff, other than it’d be a great soundtrack to something fun and intense you have to do, not really sure what that’d be, maybe hang gliding or killing aliens. It’s actually a bit like that Burnt Hills CD I reviewed earlier in the week but more rabid and foaming at the mouth.
The ten inch comes on clear red-magenta vinyl with a small insert and the Slicing Grandpa tape comes with creeptastic dental-obsessed artwork (with an infinite amount of chicken carcasses on the inside of the j-card) in the typical classy Goaty tapes style (pro dubbed, imprinted tapes, insert, pro-printed j-card cut in a weird shape). Check both out and bath in the sludgy sounds of Seattle. Both are available as far as I know so hit up the labels.

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