HARD DRUGS "Borrowed Means" (Cavelife)

Debut tape from Los Angeles newcomer (er... new to harsh noise, at least) Hard Drugs is a wretched little chunk of pessimism. The tape is simply filthy, a c16 of rancorous disappointment. The first track on the A side is a noodley oscillator jam in a tornado of fuzz and static. The second track begins with a highly questionable sample of what sounds like a Nico song, quickly overtaken by sheets of distortion and squealing mic feedback-- I'm not quite sure what's being said there. The second side is slightly more aggressive but less distinct. There's a roundness, a softness, perhaps, to the character of the sound; the music was clearly recorded live by a microphone in the room. The issue I have with this, though, is that it ends up sounding like absolutely ANYTHING would if recorded onto a cheap tape player. Actually, for all I know, this could be a walkman recording of traffic, a wood shop or of a basement punk show. Which is not to say that that's unpleasant. In fact, the tape's blurry anonymity is rather charming. It's definitely worth checking out if any of the thirty copies in existence are still available. The artwork is super solid, too. The front cover bears a creepy line drawing of some squiggly beast by the Haircut Mountain Transit and Deep Jew lead vocalist, Alex Twomey, and printed in large elegant type on the back is the evocative phrase: "You can't win; game is rigged." Heh. Die young and poor, homey.