Tuesday, September 3, 2013

BANG BROS / WET GUYS split


First a note on the following review....This is the first in a series of semi-regular guest reviews.  Please continue to send your tapes to the editor's address and he will spread them around to the new pool of reviewers.

The central themes of this tape are sexual double entendres, partying and juvenile freedom.  

Bang Bros (presumably because they "bang" on their drum machines but also named after a noteworthy porno website) sound somewhere between Merzbow, percussion centered free jazz and some six year olds tripping on acid while strangling their speak and spells.  This cassette release from the prolific two piece was recorded live on a video cam in Jamaica Plain, Boston (hence the title of the cassette, "live from Youtube").  While I applaud the low brow DIY recording technique, it does not serve the duo's sonic range well.  Drum machine high hats loose their punch.  Everything feels mid-tone; bass tones are too treble and vice versa.  With that said, there is an impressive sonic range these two make from humble, minimal equipment.  Their equipment is listed in the liner notes of the tape.  Their track starts with an ambient drone but quickly goes into hyper speed no-time-signature electronic tribal drumming bliss.  The sound is liberating and potentially seizure enduing to squares and pigs.  The Bros track runs just over eight minutes with little let down.  This is a great length for their sound; long enough for the drums to become transcendent, but short enough for them to not become tiring.

The Wet Guys side of this tape is narrative and in desperate needs of visuals.  The track begins with an anonymous voice screaming "Wet Guys!"  ... Get it?  As in, "I'm wet because I'm orgasming."  Or is he a wet guy because the man on the cover of this cassette is in a kiddy pool with floating beer cans in it?  It's a stupid pun that isn't funny the first time and is screamed pretty much for the entirety of the track over repetitive water bubble sounds and what sounds like the beginning of a totally gnarly distorted guitar that just farts out after a single chord.   Unlike Bang Bros, the sonic range of Wet Guys is very limited.  Any instrumentation, composition or concept all feels secondary to this anonymous man screaming "wet guys".  At a certain point another anonymous voice responds "gay guys".  A call and response occurs for an exhausting amount of time.  I don't see the humor or significance in this.  It's just an adjective and then a noun.  The people on the tape seem to find it hilarious however as audio laughs are heard.  Perhaps if I was seeing what was going on it would give the audio context. Alas, the cassette has its limitations.     This is a really crappy half cassette documenting what was probably a really awesome party.  This is not music and it is a stretch to call it noise.  The closest comparison I can make is to maybe weird old footage Andy Warhol took of people he thought were interesting and attractive doing nothing.  It is unintentionally voyeuristic and just a weird, half baked document.  It leaves lots to the imagination, but ultimately it is not satisfying. 


My biggest complaint about this cassette is not knowing why the cassette was made.  These two performances work better as youtube videos.  The Bang Bros track is impressive but video cams are bad audio recorders.  I applaud their DIY approach and I'm not saying they need to rent session time with a professional recorder/mixer, but they should consider applying better recording methods to give the audience a better idea of their live performances.  As for Wet Guys,  my complaints have been stated. Their track does nothing for me and I'm not going to waste anymore time putting down their creative endeavors because I'm beginning to feel like an a-hole.   

-- Jack Turnbull www.jackturnbull.com  

Not much info on how to acquire via the internet.  Try discogs? 

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