Friday, October 19, 2007

CHURCHBURNERS / DBH / HAND ME DOWN SATELLITES / JOHN THILL (Green Tape)

Fat double cassette of bizarre folk outsiders on the headquarters of middle America insanity, Green Tape. Churchburners, like always, do whatever the hell they feel like, shunning all expectations of aesthetic continuity. Song titles range from “Sluts Fucking Suck” to “Fucking is for Fuckers” and song-styles range from kazoo beat-boxing to psych-ward acoustic sing-alongs. Only for the very, very brave. Next up is DBH which, unfortunately, is an acronym for Diameter at Breast Height. Musically this translates to raw group puke overloaded with horns, beer cans being popped open, no-fi percussive splatter, etc. The first track was recorded at the 2007 International Noise Conference, but the others were all laid down in
Bloomington, IN. Somehow the home-recorded songs are 90 million times worse-sounding, blown out to the degree that they sound like nothing...in-the-red anti-music or vague erratic clatter. Baffling in a way perhaps best described as “Textbook Green Tape Fuck You-isms.” Tape 2 starts with HMDS (Hand Me Down Satellites), who I’ve never heard of before and may never again. But I hope I do, cause this is my favorite side here. Intimate warm keyboard hieroglyphics (plus occasional guitar) weaving back and forth in pleasing melody patterns…pools of glowing drones offset by sharper tonal warblings and pitter-patter drum machine rhythms. Like K Records Kraftwerk or something. Unexpected! Ex-Quem Quaeritis-ite and full-time folk loon John Thill closes the collection with six simple folk songs driven by linear narratives, basic chords, and verse/chorus arrangements. Live he likes to strip and have nervous breakdowns but here it’s just singer/songwriter 101 stuff. As plain as day.