Monday, October 26, 2009

Grasshopper - Wretched Blood Wraith [Obsolete Units]/Waterside Gala - Composure & Recreation [Roll Over Rover]

Got a couple of jazz-inspired (emphasis on the "-inspired") tapes recently and figured I'd them throw together and kill a couple birds with one stone.
So actually I'm not sure you can mention "jazz" in the vicinity of this Grasshopper tape because it's full of some of the thickest, most steamrollin' drones I've ever heard. It's a duo of trumpet players though so they must've played jazz at some point right? Anyway I'm getting off topic. The topic is of course that this tape totally RULES. It's so heavy and oppressive without actually being that abrasive in any way. The two guys weave filtered sonics into a fucking dense, maniacally zombie-like tapestry on the first side, "Regal Blood Wraith". It sounds like there's maybe some garbled speech in there too but I may be hearing things, the point being there are so many things going on it's difficult to wrap your brain around it.
So basically my vocabulary is not capable of describing how brilliant this piece of music is to you but the piece just keeps getting more massive, more swollen, more terrifying. The sonic equivalent of the Blob basically. This is some Yellow Swans-level shit, these Grasshopper guys know what the fuck they are doing. Simply incredible. I know which jam I'll be pumping when Halloween rolls around this Saturday.
That was just the first side, "The Langoliers" takes up the flip and it's equally as good. From the get-go the piece contains infinitely more hope than "Regal Blood Wraith". The tones are brighter, there's spacey synth-esque sounds and a soaring processed trumpet melody. That is until a killer, deep melodic undertow starts up and the piece locks into a great hypnotic groove. The piece achieves a strange, pulsing beauty and it feels just wonderful to bask in the sounds and it's pretty great how the piece just keeps getting better and better and better. It's also nice that they put the uplifting track after the (awesome) trek through hell of the first side so you end feeling at peace with the world.
With this tape I have discovered one of my new favorite bands. Get this immediately.
Waterside Gala (not a diss, but wouldn't have Waterslide Gala been even cooler?) is a brand new duo of Sean McCann and Kellen Shipley. How brand new? This, their debut, was recorded last month. According to Roll Over Rover's website, the duo plays keyboard and sax and first side "Scotch & Soda" is weirdly (or maybe not so weirdly) McCannish despite the constant skronk sax. Though what I'm assuming is sax sounds a lot like a violin being bowed to pieces. The piece has a lovely float and lilt to it and the frantic, scraping violin/sax/whatever keeps everything just enough off-balance to give all the beauty of the piece extra effect. It's a lovely curiosity. Near the end of the side everything changes to a cavernous sax/keyboard duet riffing on a pretty keyboard line and resigned sax, also quite lovely. The B-side "Guest of Honor" changes the vibe considerably, bringing in rattling percussion and murmuring saxophone. I think there's a flute in here too, making that whole keyboard/sax tag a bit of false advertising. In the keyboard's absence, the melody of this track comes from the sax giving a slower, more wandering tempo. It's not minimal like Body Morph/Uneven Universe, but it does have the oddly shifting sax-in-a-vacuum feel. The track builds to a strange climax where right at it's slight pinnacle, it completely deconstructs itself. Like the first side, there's a short coda at the end. This one sounds like rubber balls tumbling around in a giant wooden box.
It's a cool tape full of lots of interesting sounds. Check it out for sure, I'm looking forward to hearing more from these guys.
Both tapes are available still but limited to 60 so get them soon. And no, I have no idea what is going on with the artwork on the Grasshopper tape. Check Obsolete Units and Roll Over Rover for copies. You also may check the Hopper's 'space for copies too.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Auxiliary Out Radio Programme #43 (10/25/09)

Body Morph “Side A (excerpt)” Negative Face [Arbor 2008] (CS)

Hunted Creatures “Live Collage” Spring Tour Demo 2009 [Dynamo! 2009] (CD-r)

Shawn David McMillen “Untitled (excerpt)” End of the City [Abaddon/Abandon Ship/DNT 2009] (LP)

Francis Harold and the Holograms “I See It All” Who Said These Were Happy Times [Going Underground/Square Wave 2009] (LP)

FNU Ronnies “Golem Smoke” Golem Smoke [Skrot Up/Night People 2009] (CS/CD-r/one-sided LP)

Grey Daturas “Barren Planet” Barren Planet [Heathen Skulls 2009] (7” one-sided)

Bright Duplex “The Lady is Waiting” Strawberry Trust [Thor’s Rubber Hammer 2009] (CD-r)

Forest Dweller “Cedrus Libani” Demo [Dynamo! 2009] (CS)

Children Under Hoof “Live Scoring of John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 4/9/09 (excerpt)” none [Unreleased 2009] Watch it!

Mrtyu “Ritual Terra Continuii” Ritual Terra Continuii [Tipped Bowler Tapes 2007] (CS)

Ajilvsga “Dead, White, Lifeless” The Muddy Banks of the Arkansas [Near Passerine Devotionals 2009] (LP)

Wild Gunmen “Let the Blood Flow” Wild Gunmen [White Tapes 2008] (CS)

Locrian “Rain of Ashes (excerpt)” Rain of Ashes [Fan Death 2009] (CS)

Sorry no MP3 for this week due to severe technical issues with the radio station. How did I not know my (pre-)Halloween would be cursed...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Locrian - Rain of Ashes [Fan Death]

First of all, my apologies for the lack of reviews lately. Illness, houseguests, a ceiling leaking in 4 places and general school/work business have been keeping me, well, busy. Anyway, gonna work a bit harder to keep the site current. Now on to the show...
I can tell you one thing I thought I’d never see again and that is a new (as in current) tape in shrink wrap. And well, thanks to Fan Death I have seen it and even touched it. Locrian’s work both soundwise and visually is known for a certain professionalism and blackened elegance and Rain of Ashes, capturing a live performance on WMUC this past summer, continues their hit streak.
I haven’t had the fortune of seeing these guys live yet but if all the live recordings I’ve heard are any indication, and I assume they are, Locrian’s live show is quite an experience. Rain of Ashes starts up with a barely there drone which is slowly modulated by a searing, sustained guitar lead. The track slowly peels open with layers of subtle melodies. Some way into the tape a low guitar melody materializes and it’s very simple but a sweetly melodic counterpoint to the colder drones radiating elsewhere. The organ follows suit with a descending melody of its own that the guitar quickly picks up on. It becomes apparent just how psychically connected these guys must be to pull this stuff off live. There’s always been an underlying beauty to Locrian’s music but in this piece they push it out there front and center, expanding that organ melody into a lovely fugue. What’s more is that the guys perform a slo-mo obliteration of that little section. Unstable guitar tones and quaking bass frequencies attempt to usurp control and swallow that bit of beauty up whole. They don’t succeed which is good for me cause I quite liked that melody, though it doesn’t last forever. White noise and a solitary guitar playing a lonesome melody duet for a little while afterward. The tempo and volume increase slightly giving it a surprisingly rock vibe. This fades into a slightly more uneasy section, once again based around a guitar melody. A bolt of distortion builds intensity and the piece swells into a mild crescendo of swirling feedback that gets stormier by the minute, ending with something sounding like the wind blowing through a Metal Zone. It’s a really strange, non-linear journey but a good one.
One of the coolest things about the tape is instead of doing the standard double A-side tape, the piece plays out in reverse on the second side, making it possible to ride this thing continuously if you so choose. Even cooler is the track sounds really awesome in reverse. Since Locrian mostly uses sounds with slow attack, the piece doesn’t exactly sound reversed most of the time. Or at least not in a distracting way. It’s re-contextualized and strangely familiar but not quite the same. More bonus points go to the inspired backwards printing of the label on the first side of the tape on the B-side. Hell of a job by Fan Death and a hell of a job by Locrian.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Auxiliary Out Radio Programme #42 (10/18/09)

Rahdunes “Sounds” Drink and Drive Smoke or Fly [Bum Tapes 2009] (CS)

Peaking Lights “Intro to Imaginary Falcons” Imaginary Falcons [Night People 2009] (LP)

Oneohtrix Point Never “Zones Without People” Zones Without People [Arbor 2009] (LP)

Silver Bullets “Flight from Babylon” Free Radical [Stunned 2009] (CS)

Blank Realm “Cats on the Edge” Psyched Punch [DNT 2009] (CS)

Soloing Over Alanis Morissette “SOAM” Soloing Over Alanis Morrisette [Speed Tapes 2009] (CS)

Sord “Made in Ecuador 10-07” Rebuking the Despoiler [OSR Tapes 2009] (CS)

Theo Angell & the Tabernacle Hillside Singers “A Crime from the Vine” Tenebrae [Amish 2009] (CD)

Spade and Archer “Fifteen Stories High” Sullo Scaffale [Auris Apothecary 2009] (3” CD-r)

Terror Bird “Box Office Boyfriend” Sociopaths are Glam [Night People 2009] (CS)

Bird Names “Taxicabs and Bicycles” Sings the Browns [Really Coastal 2009] (CS)

Juan Matos Capote “Star Dust” Jabal [Circuit Torçat 2009] (CS)

Astral Social Club “Stacking Stacking” Split with Wounded Knee [Sick Head Tapes 2009] (CS)

Slasher Risk “Brooklyn” Slasher Risk [Obsolete Units 2009] (CD)

Fag Cop “They Won’t Tell Me About It” Whispers from the Pantheon [No Label 2009] (CS)

Life Partners “AIDS of Spades” AIDS of Spades/Teenager in Trouble [Ride the Snake 2008] (7”)

Mayyors “Deads” Deads [Hurling Man 2009] (LP)

Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase “Horseshoe Crabmobile (with Little Doo Doo Scoops)” Glistening Inn [Ultra Eczema 2008] (LP)

Rale “Side B (excerpt)” Slow Life [Young Tapes 2009] (CS)

mp3: Part 1 Part 2

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Auxiliary Out Radio Programme #41 (10/11/09)

Historians “Slice n’ Dice” Proof [Stunned 2009] (CD-r)

Tusk Lord “Afraid of the Dark” Summer 2009 [Dynamo! 2009] (CS)

Jazzfinger “Birth of the Knife” Psyched Punched [DNT 2009] (2xCS)

Blue Sabbath Black Fiji “Laksa Bath” Gemini [Deathbomb Arc 2009] (CD-r)

Maths Balance Volumes “Untitled” Tried to Make a Call [Bum Tapes 2008] (CS)

Caethua “Surface Waters and Underground Seas” Split with Ancestral Diet [Goaty Tapes] (CS)

Nackt Insecten “The Telepathic Jackal” Split with Dylan Nyoukis [Sick Head Tapes 2009] (CS)

Hanging Coffins “Haunted Hives” Hanging Coffins [Night People 2009] (CS)

Warm Climate “Lost Teeth” Edible Homes [Stunned 2009] (CS)

Occasional Detroit “Side A” Occasional Bomb [Human Conduct/I Just Live Here 2007] (7”)

ID M Theft Able “Zone Y Ponds Y Sugars I’ve 3” Split with Cave Bears [Feeding Tube 2009] (LP)

Lam Young “Kati Sorn Jai” Siamese Soul: Thai Pop Spectacular Vol. 2 [Sublime Frequencies 2009] (CD)

Rambutan “Sideswept” Vertical [Tape Drift 2009] (CS)

Orphan Fairytale “Crybaby Needs a Hanky” Ladybird Labyrinth [Ultra Eczema 2009] (LP)

Bright Duplex “It’s Geese” Strawberry Trust [Thor’s Rubber Hammer 2009] (CD-r)

Teenage Panzerkorps “Arc de Triomphe” Teenage Panzerkorps [Captured Tracks 2009] (7”)

Grasshopper “Regal Blood Wraith” Wretched Blood Wraith [Obsolete Units 2009] (CS)

The Widow Babies “Carmen Y Pipo” Jet Packs [olFactory 2009] (LP one-sided)

Ignatz “The Woman Helped Him” A Canine and a Kitten in the Car [Goaty Tapes 2009] (CS)

Dragging an Ox Through Water “Devil’s Prayer” The Tropics of Phenomenon [Freedom to Spend 2009] (CD)

Brian Grainger “Swamp Bike at Dusk” Traveling [Imperfect Music/Sunrise Acoustics 2009] (CD-r)

mp3: Part 1 Part 2

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bright Duplex – Strawberry Trust [Thor’s Rubber Hammer]/I Heart Lung/DWMTG – Ecstatic Jazz Duos [Thor’s Rubber Hammer]

Thor's Rubber Hammer seems to be becoming the go to place for jazz in the underground. There was the totally slammin' first installment of Ecstatic Jazz Duos LP series last year with Talibam! and the absolutely most slaying Wasteland Jazz Unit stuff I've heard. Now Thor (actually Lars Gotrich) is back with the second Ecstatic Jazz Duos installment and an absolute monster of a CD-r by Bright Duplex.
If I gave out a best new artist award or something Bright Duplex would be the horse to bet on, cause from this vantage point they’ve got it pretty much locked up. The duo of Matthew Armistead on drums, percussion and clarinet and Vanessa Rossetto (The Mighty Acts of God) on viola/in, cello, percussion, electronics and field recordings. Just the instrument line-up alone is enough to get the salivary glands pumping. “Egg Harbor” says the first hello with grinding violin and snare devolving into a humming/whining clarinet/strings duet that ratchets up the tension while Armistead beats his percussive pallet with frustrated fury. The clarinet gets placed more centrally on “Luminous Pumpkin Sockets” which is always met by enthusiasm in my book, before long though the duo ends up in an acoustic drone passage. That passage becomes rather absorbing with epic gongwork, splinters of feedback and jangly bells. The duo lets lose with the reeds near the end which sounds wicked and on a dime they’re in hushed silence slowly creeping back into the daylight. “The Lady is Waiting” turns out some kind of bizarre, creepy horror movie jazz. Combining all the right frequencies to scare the shit out of me. The piece drifts along with a minimum of percussion; it’s mostly fueled by the vibrations supplied by the clarinet and strings. And when this thing heads for the climax, oh man, it is sensational. Clarinet pipes up for a few seconds leading into a huge swell of sound, really tremendous. “Motorcycle Goodbye” features violin in a more melodic role, sort of, cello also gets the spotlight briefly too. The thing that’s so strange about Bright Duplex is they have such control over dynamics, they can kind of “mute” the whole band leaving each instrument in a tense, straitjacketed state. Weird but incredibly effective. “Small Simulacra” in contrast, gets to roam a bit freer including an odd rhythmic pattern by Armistead. Rossetto creates a great bed/undertow of strings as well which slowly sucks the jam into some sort of crazy jazz vortex. “It’s Geese” also kicks off in more “straightforward” fashion. Creeping percussion, creepy violin, creepier clarinet all headed to some grimy jazz club on the eastside of Hell. The piece has an especially eerie spirit to it for a mere jazz jam, even hypnotizing in a way. A recording of a crowd of people crops up later which prompts clarinet and drums take a little well-earned alone time together. It’s hard to choose a favorite on a record like this but that could be it. “Church of Rosy Porky Pine” rides on grinding strings and rumbling drums before gliding to a halt. The hilariously apathetically-titled finale “Well Then” starts up with droning strings and mild free percussion. The piece feels like it’s about to lash out at any moment but manages keep things polite and noticeably more melodic than the rest of record due to Rossetto’s stringwork. All that makes for a great, unassuming topper. These guys are pretty spectacular, there’s no way this stuff was done totally live—there’s gotta be overdubs somewhere—but Strawberry Trust totally feels live though. Very vibrant, alive and masterfully executed. Furthermore, these guys have a sound all their own; I mean, name your favorite current underground jazz crew, chances are Bright Duplex sound different and, most likely, better than they do.

The second installment of the Ecstatic Jazz Duos series continues to expand the range of artists in its exclusive roster. Electric guitar/drums duo, I Heart Lung, takes the first side with three pieces. “Conflagration” is the longest, taking up the first half of the side. It begins rather un-jazzy with reversed guitar and the grinding of rusty cymbals until the guitar debuts the main melody and the drums follow suit, shaping up into a semi-free pattern. There are some relaxing moments of a mellow guitar melody and slight drum accents, actually my favorite part of the piece, before a return to the initial melody at the end of the track. “Grand Assembly Line of Retired Machinery” starts out a bit more fiercely with a mechanized split second guitar loop, which is backed by splashes of drums and guitar chords before turning to ambient drones for the rest of the track. The most bracing and best track of the side is “Axes Only,” which settles into a melody akin to that of the first piece, after the opening of slashing guitar and frantic drumming. I Heart Lung sound the most “ecstatic” here; they play with more ferocity and seemingly more purpose. Their foray within the more traditional areas of guitar-led jazz sounds more alive in this piece than elsewhere on their side. However, they’re at their absolute best when they’re at their most atavistic. As the piece nears its conclusion it reaches its peak of intensity when I Heart Lung takes to thrashing about frenetically creating a synergetic texture of aggression. It’s a pretty great ending.
Overall, this is a decent side. It’s obviously competently performed and features some great moments but I can’t help repeating that they don’t sound that “ecstatic” for most of their contribution, at many points I find myself wishing they would really go for it as they do at the end of their side. I’m no scholar of jazz, but what I Heart Lung is doing doesn’t really feel that new either unlike the work of the artists on the previous installment of Ecstatic Jazz Duos. I should also note though, that I tend to prefer reeds and/or brass-led jazz as opposed to guitar-led jazz.
DWMTG is a Thurston Moore-approved electric bass/percussion duo of Dale W. Miller and Tony Gordon and their side is comprised of ten untitled tracks. The first piece begins oddly enough with a duet between a bass guitar and a rubber ducky or some such squeaky toy. After many listens I’m still not sure what the hell to make of it. The next piece is even stranger with, possibly electronic, clicking percussion and percussive, “noteless” bass work. Things start to congeal on the third piece with slippery bass playing and skittering cymbal work. The fourth piece, as well, has weirdly burbling bass work and rustling drums. I like the textures that Gordon pulls out of his bass, because as far as I can tell there are no effects or anything and he makes some strange sounds. I can appreciate DWMTG’s textural miniatures (and their overall weirdness) though I think it’d be to their benefit to let loose a bit more and use dynamics to their advantage. A couple of the later tracks feature more confrontational vibes with both instruments creating thick webs of sounds and pushing those sounds much harder and to a fuller extent. The last couple pieces are louder, less sparse and, I think most importantly, get the blood flowing, the head nodding and the foot tapping.
The LP also features some of Christopher Cichocki’s best artwork; I particularly love the front cover which looks like a sketch of some barren, landscape despite it probably being a microscopic image of wood or something.
Both releases are still available but note that Strawberry Trust is limited to 100. Also, a suggestion to Thor, snap up Bright Duplex for a future edition of Ecstatic Jazz Duos right away! Those kids can't miss!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Swim Ignorant Fire – Haircuts [No Label]/Jamison Williams – Onassis Project [Closet Sorcery]

A couple of recent releases here both digging in the squalid sandbox of noisy electronics.
This Haircuts CD-r is a self-released repress of an earlier release on Scotch Tapes. Swim Ignorant Fire is the solo guise of Stephen Holliger who plays in Veyou with Nick Hoffman (Katchmare), a duo which made one of the coolest tapes of the year back in January.
“Seeds on a Sunday Wedding” kicks things off with a twitchy, glitchy beat, keyboard swells and a creepy manipulated sample of singing. Weird but also weirdly comforting. That feeling disappears with “Marc Ribot can Kiss My Furry Ass!” a pairing of loud, scratchy beats and manipulated guitar melodies. I dig a sample of a live snare that comes into play in the second half of the track. Still not sure what Ribot did to anyone though, I always liked that dude’s playing. “Come to Pop Pop” brings back that weird ghostly singing and sets it to a weird distorted waltzing melody. “I Just Got Shot in the Love Handle” reminds me of a piece of music from Requiem for a Dream, which is awesome to say the least. Super groovy, grimy, crunchy and melodic. Very cool jam. “Take Something with You” brings back that ghostly singing but this time over a surprisingly straightforward arrangement. The track is mostly unfettered acoustic guitar with a few fragments of beats here and there. The placement of the acoustic guitar works incredibly well, creating a brief oasis in the middle of the record from the dirty machines that usually dominate it. “GPA Won’t Stop Being Epic” makes up about a fourth of the album’s length. It continues with acoustic guitar as well as televangelism and rave beats. “The Fall of Leaves” features a thematically driven recording of trudging through leaves, with a very pretty reversed melody. That ghostly singing sample reappears here though it doesn’t totally gel with everything else going on in the track though there’s a nice lilting accordion near the end. “Let You Down” and “I’m All Better” continue in the mellow tradition of the second half of the album; I think the latter is the better of the two though. The short closer “New Dress” joins a bristling Velcro beat with manipulated vocals and a simple guitar melody.
Onassis Project by Jamison Williams uses some similar elements as Swim Ignorant Fire (samples, scratchy electronics) but flows through a much harsher vein. Apparently there are five tracks on this tape, “Bouvier-Kennedy” “Christina O” “MARIA CALLAS” “Nineteen Seventy-Five” “Myasthenia Gravis” however my ever discerning ears hear no tracks at all. There’s “Side A” and “Side B” and that’s all I can make out. The first side is steeped in manipulated distortion and cut up vomity vocals. It settles into no less stable territory of pitch manipulations that alternately sound like free sax and a tyrannosaurus rex. Vocal samples attempt to be heard but its pretty futile. Williams works pretty much unhinged from any concept of melody and rhythm for the most part, so when two pitches that sound nice together end up side by side, it immediately catches attention if only for a split second. By the end there are legit saxophonics, though Williams is only credited with sound manipulations so my hypothesis is he had been manipulating a recording of saxophone the whole time. “Side B” picks up roughly where “Side A” left off. Combining free jazz dynamics with mechanical textures, the aggressive opening section calms down, relatively, for a little bit leading into a near melodic passage. Most surprisingly, an unmanipulated saxophone pops up for a few seconds of slow blues. A denser, darker, noisier section usurps this though. This section actually comes as a relief because it’s not being changed every two seconds. The tape comes to a close crumbling into more free sax before bottoming out completely into noisy squelch. I prefer the second side cause its constructed tighter, rather than the willy-nillyness of the first side.
The most interesting thing is that this was apparently recorded back in August 1995. To my ears it sounds like it could have been recorded in August 2009. I don’t know if that means we’re behind the times or if Williams was ahead of them. Maybe noise is just getting to be universal like rock n’ roll, where there’ll always be a spot for it at any place in time, I don’t know.
Haircuts is available from the Swim Ignorant Fire myspace but limited to 14. I’m guessing the Jamison Williams tape is still available but I don’t know what happened to the Closet Sorcery website.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Child Pornography – She’s Got Legs [Deathbomb Arc]/Blue Sabbath Black Fiji – Gemini [Deathbomb Arc]

So yeah, this Child Pornography record is like two years old already. Wow. I really f’d my job up there, but the silver lining is it is still available (gotta love the pro-pressed CDs sometimes) and also having listened to this thing countless times over the past two years I’ve grown to love pretty much everything about it.
First of all, this is cleanest CP have ever sounded and while I prefer them best on a gauzy sounding cassette, good production value has its charms as well. The number one instant turnoff about these guys (except the name probably) is the seriously petulant vocals. Can’t tell if it’s a guy or a girl but whoever it is has gone way past bratty, way past sneering, way past “attitude.” I will fully admit, the vocals caused me to keep the album at arm’s length for a short period of time. However though, the record is so charming in its fucked little way that after a bit of exposure you can’t help but love the damn thing, vox included. There are a limited amount of records that I’m more impressed by every time I listen and She’s Got Legs has gold member status in that group.
This thing is a pop record of the highest order, supremely simple and full of familiar elements but, like any great pop record, puts those elements together in a unique fashion. The short intro “Oh Baby” introduces the listener to the attitude of the record, a loop of 808 cowbell and rattling snare and a sample of a woman singing “ah bay-buh.” “Honey Bear” launches into the brittle, lo-fi electro-punk guise that CP often works in. Casio, drum machine, yelped vocals, and skronky guitar. Very killer, but they follow it up with an even more killer jam “TV’s Gotta Hold on Me” which is more Timbaland than anything else including an amazing, straight crunk descending keyboard line. The whole track is super groovy, super catchy, basically an instant party. “Fashion Vomit” pulls a kind of Suicide-thing but twice the tempo while “Cold Fingers” has a more authentic Suicide vibe but filtered through CP’s sweaty lens. Both are great tracks and never actually rely on their influences. “Fuck’n with MC Ren” is about as spacey as Child Pornography can sound, fluttering casio sound effects, garbled vocals and a slowly mangled guitar. By the time they’re at “I Wanna Hurt” one of my especially favorite favorites, they have gotten halfway through the album without any of the previous songs coming close to the two minute mark. This is important because one of the record's strengths is that it moves so quickly, piling on hook after hook. There’s never any chance to be bored because all the good ones are gone before you want them to be and album is only made up of good ones. Anyway, back to “I Wanna Hurt” the album’s default ballad; the vocal refrain of, you guessed it, “I wanna hurt” is perfectly paired with an almost marching keyboard melody——one of the many melodies that will get stuck in your head. “Power Ballad” despite the name is a certified slow jam and possibly the greatest thing Child Pornography has done. An amazingly dreamy bed of keyboard lines and drum machine is concocted which is groovy and catchy and all that but moreover it is beautiful. CP isn’t one to let it’s beauty go unblemished though, saving its snarkiest vocals for this piece. This thing is only a minute and a half but had they stretched it out to an LP side, I’d still be asking for more. “Rock N’ Roll” finds the band reappropriating “shooby-doo-wop”s and “sun glasses at night” for their own bizarre vision of rock n’ roll which is heavy on the attitude and hip swinging. Another one of my favorites is “New Neighborhood” partially due to it having the most excellent guitar playing on the record. “Pixel Palace Ode” after a sputtering, crashing intro settles into a springy, tightly coiled ditty based around a sunshinin’ guitar riff. Consequently, there’s more great guitar playing on “Woot Woo” over a shuffling keyboard beat. “The Ruins” is a quick, chugging keyboard interlude leading into “Up All Night” another great one purely on the basis that it makes you wanna fucking move. The most unabashed attempt at a dance anthem on here. The longest track of the album is suitably titled “Lawrence of Arabia” though the track time is 4 minutes not 4 hours. It’s also my favorite song to sing along to. Even when I haven’t listened in a while I find myself randomly bleating “Lawrence of Arabia-ahawaah.” The track contains all the elements of the other tracks but it’s mellower and, dare I say, uplifting in spirit. There’s a surprisingly faithful cover of “Only the Lonely” at the end (faithful in the sense that it is the band just singing along to the record) and though it’s a fine cover, I gotta side with my main man Roy Orbison’s version. Still it’s pretty funny to hear CP’s distorted yaps in place of Orbison’s croon. Probably the most unexpected way to end a record like She’s Got Legs.
To get me back into the oh nine state of mind, I have Gemini, a recent CD-r by the Scotland-by-way-of-France duo Blue Sabbath Black Fiji. I’ve been waiting for DBA and BSBF to finally collaborate, because both epitomize fun in noise. “Laksa Bath” is an awesome firestarter, insanely distorted and energetic with a ghostly aura of guitar or keyboard just audible. Oh, before we get any farther, it is a must to jam this thing loud. Anyhow its a brilliant track, and sums up BSBF in three minutes fairly well. “Sun Ra was a Wookie” brings in a drum machine. It definitely gives the band a different vibe, I think I generally prefer them without the drum machine cause it can seem to stifle the energy a bit, but in "Sun Ra" they’re pulling all sorts of groovy riffs amidst the noise so the drum machine kinda works as it imbues the track with a strangely straightforward rock vibe. The brief “Coxitocin Syntocinon” nearly gets into down tempo, minimal techno territory while “Eenslachtingshung Onder Het Bet” jumps into an insatiably frantic free rock mindset. Guitar and drum machine, both, relentlessly spitting out frenzied, twisted sonic blasts. “Love Lagoon” continues the aesthetic but replaces the slippery free rhythms with mechanized pummeling. They sound a lot like early Yellow Swans here but a noticeably stronger rock influence. That’s actually one of my favorite things about Blue Sabbath Black Fiji, that they play noise with a rock n’ roll attitude. I love the warped vocal part near the end of the jam which carries into the next piece. Another short one, “Kartoffel Katastrophe” goes straight for the warped vocal jugular making some kind of futuristic robo-Skaters freak out. “Deep Gravy 7” kicks off with straight cheese techno, a marching drum beat and squirty blips. Effected guitar comes in spraying waves of sustain around the track, and around 3 minutes in the jam takes shape with Kraftwerk-by-way-of-The Juan Maclean vocals and sequenced melodies. In true techno-jam fashion the piece keeps building and complicating itself with innumerable layers of melodies and rhythms. Not my favorite song on here, but its still pretty hard not to like and tops the only the "Only the Lonely" cover for weirdest finale.
All in all, two strong DBA releases. Obviously She's Got Legs comes highly recommended, but Gemini is no slouch either. If you haven't heard either of these groups, pick these up cause it's time you did.