Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SMUT/RIGHT NOW BAND split CS (Friends & Relatives Records)

Bloomington represent, this is a real jolly outing, to be sure! It’s always nice to see bros bro down, and this short tape of live actions from bands comprised of members from freak-improv groups like (D)(B)(H) is as fucked as it is fun.

Right Now Band plays as a trio (apparently) with a guest guitarist, but the way it’s recorded, there’s really no way of knowing just how many guitars you’re getting anyways, so it’s not worth fretting over. There are some major Beefheart stylistics taking place here, psychdelic poetry lyrics, strangled unaffected guitars, and clanking, rhythmic, “blues” drums keeping it all together. Somehow, it all seems to blend together into one mish-mash by the time the side is over, you can barely tell which instrument is which, real cool de-scendo. Into it.

Watch this video for some kind of perspective:


“Play that trash, and you play that trash; I’m not joining the band.”

On that same note, Smut is the trash-rock duo (soundwise, not actual trash, re: da video) of childhood friends Justin Rhody and Keith Wright, almost literally executing ten songs (one being a cover, I think?), and probably their instruments alongside that. Super blown-out distortion and audience heckling, raw dogs hot-doggin’ it. Not much else to say on that end, loud reigns proud.

Limited edition of 50, nice Predator picture on cover.

http://www.friendsandrelativesrecords.com
http://www.myspace.com/therightnowband

PARADE: “s/t” c29 (Leftist Nautical Antiques)


Incredibly frustrating nomenclature aside (nearly impossible for me to figure out how to type even, reminds me of (hed)p.e., which sucks), this is a pretty cool tape. Apparently, it’s the pronunciation key for the word “parade”, so I’ll leave it at that. This Spokane, Washington trio definitely has the “we were really into Incubus in high school, but now we’re into Vampire Weekend” vibe, but hey, most of us were there at some point in our lives, right? Despite blasé titles (e.g. “Neural Circus”, “Drug Fun(d)”, ugh...), the somewhat angular, pause-heavy guitar-playing and strained bassy vocals remind me pretty heavily of the post-hardcore sound of acts like Braid and Owls, but with enough of the newer experimental troppo sound to fit in amongst the ranks of a Meneguar or Real Estate. If the functioning on weed and “have you heard about noise tapes?” aesthetic is up your alley, then you can download a free track from the label website and make your mind up from there. Seems like something with “big time” potential to me, so it may not be for everybody.

Comes in an edition of 100 with real classy looking color j-card.

http://www.leftistnauticalantiques.com
http://www.myspace.com/gaydatheband

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

SON OF EARTH / BARN OWL
"Bootleg Split" C60 (Gilded Throne)

This tape here is why I love Western Massachusetts, as much for the circumstances surrounding it's creation as for the music contained on it. Son of Earth and Barn Owl, two Pioneer Valley trios just played a show at Byron Coley's Ecstatic Yod space a few weeks ago to celebrate their tenth anniversaries as bands and that is where I got this split tape. The best part though is that it is a "bootleg" of two live recordings from 2007 created specifically for and distributed (for free I might add) at said show by Mike Barrett. All of the band members were as surprised as I was to get this wonderful gift. Feel the love.

Son of Earth is made up of Matt Krefting, Aaron Rosenblum and John Shaw and they have a couple of LPs to their name. Their side sounds like people moving furniture around a room, in the best way possible. Utilizing contact mics, record and tape players, minimal organ, etc... these boys create heaviness in the quietest way possible and the infrequency of their performances and recordings only adds to their specialness. Pick up their new release on Amish/Required Wreckers, it's great!

Barn Owl (not the SF band) is made up of Chris Cooper, Andy Crespo and Matt Weston. Comparatively, they are sonically denser, using a guitar, kettle drum and electric bass to create squirmy free improv. Cooper is an immensely inventive guitarist, playing his axe on the floor with metal files and cutlery and using household electronic devices to activate wonderful interference sounds on it's pickups. He plays surrounded by effects pedals, all of which he knows exactly what to do with and uses for merely seconds at a time. Weston provides what might be considered the "lead voice", making his timpani sing, transcending the percussive. Crespo fills in all the holes, playing cross-legged on the floor, hands powdered for maximum agility. This band has only released one 3" cd to my knowledge which is a real surprise considering their prodigious talent and the member's pedigree.

The tape comes in a silver spray-painted plastic case, with a b/w insert detailing the recording dates. Maybe you can find a copy by writing to Barrett at belltonesuicide@gmail.com or at the Guilded Throne myspace (myspace.com/gildedthronerecordings).

Friday, March 5, 2010

JUSTIN RHODY & MATT HIMES "s/t" (Green Tape) c15

Yowza, two sides of air raid madness. Sounds like Justin and Matt got hold of some bullhorns and got into it with the national guard. Borderline feedback of sometimes barely recognizable vocals that sound like they're being used more like weapons to contain a civilian riot.

Not totally clear what's happening, if it's two people, a group or just the voice being pushed to the very edge of white noise. Maybe it's an exorcism since you can hear occasional talking and it definitely feels like something is being purged. I think this would sound brutal and awesome performed super loud, especially if there were projectile vomit and lots of heads spinning around.

Super simple cover art of a swollen lip being pulled down to reveal a gold tooth on what looks like a normal looking mom. who knows?!

Still available from the very nice dudes over at the label:
Green Tape

BIRD COSTUMES "Freedom and Weep" (Karamazov Recordings) c15



A weird, weird tape.

Arpeggio loops that are maybe guitars pitched up or keyboards? Sounds like its going to be a typical loop pedal party of 'loop a' over 'loop b' so and so on until it's 'intense' and maybe feels 'new age' or something, but instead these remain some sort of song, with the first track sounding like some sort of new romantic / college rock thing complete with misanthropic / apocalyptic lyrics all accompanied by tight drumming.

I imagine this being performed with 'lighting' and maybe even smoke and the singer / guitarist looking at the crowd a lot and never changing their facial expression while they play these dark and brooding guitar lines / loops. In a perfect world the loops would be taken care of by two keyboardists with pale skin, maybe one of them is androgynous.

The second side takes a little bit of a turn (unfortunate for me because i was having so much fun imagining their 1983 stage show). The structural use of the looping is traded in for minimal piano and reverbed out vocals that chase the melody played on the keyboard and, along with the melancholy, has traces of some consonance. The next track fulfills my dreams of darkness, dropping a textural metallic steam bath that morphs into a loose poetry like sing songy bit that feels like it was recorded three inches off the ground making everything wobbly and a little out of focus.

I would really like to see what this is like live!
Makes me feel WEIRD.
Still available from the site:
Karamazov Recordings

D/S/MILLER / HUNTED CREATURES (Dynamo Sound Collective) Split c20

A well matched pair! The difficulty of finding the perfect compliment is not lost on me; trying to figure out if the pairs should be opposing and strike a balance in their difference, or is it better to find birds of a feather and put complimentary beings side by side. It may help that these two are both from Pittsburgh, PA.

In this case the two sides are good rowing partners, each working at about the same pace with similar, though not redundant, palettes. Both sides are atmospheric and textural but make an effort to build as the pieces move along.

The Hunted Creatures side is one 10 minute piece that has a distant sounding start (maybe actual dripping noises?) that feels like you're in some long defunct work place turned teenage drug sanctuary, though a bit more ominous. The established space recedes as a pulsing bass synth sound emerges and trades places with a more air driven organ tone, each leaning to the foreground like, sort of like someone rocking back and forth before they puke, or race horses trading off leading. The two eventually meet and mate, intertwining in an wormy, pulsing marriage and it seems that's their goal as the piece comes to end.

The DS Miller side is a lot more loop oriented with hisses and clicks coming round and round like some shit storm of a tape deck carousel, each rotation bringing about sweeping soft distortion and minor adjustments to the loops. The second piece feels a bit less constructed around loops has a pleasant discord combining vague casio bloops, digital interference and any number of slight buzzes and fuzzes.

Nice tape though all the pieces are pretty straight forward without a lot of abrupt changes or disturbances to the ideas that are introduced which is consistent with the art; the cover showing a beardy dude praying it up and the insert has some shadowy figures examining some sort of cave crypt, each suggesting a certain quiet and contemplative moment.

Released by Dynamo Sound Collective in an Edition of 50
Sound clips on the website:
http://dynamosound.brainisgod.com/