Sunday, December 15, 2013

"Tartarus" (Self-released)

 SIDE A "Muskrat Tail"

Hyper wet vocals vibrate monotone nightmare "siri" lyrics that are incomprehensible. Amplifier feedback and effect pedal super slow chord progressions linger and barely convey a structure. The mastering and mixing of this drone out is well crafted. Borrowing from the Wolf Eyes playbook the vocals sound not like voice but rather vocals as instrument to assist gizomos and gadjet sonic effect modulators! Nightshade & Gel Nails portray a dingy and foreboding mood that is psychedelically meditative while sounding sonically avant-garde and bad ass.

Side B "Fast Food for Fast People"

Wobbly tape loop opens side B. It frankly makes me a little sea sick. Then modulating synthesizer escalating hum acts as a rhythm as frequencies melodically descend like depressed bombs. Everything is a little too casual, most notably the vocalist who is awkwardly not in tune. There's J Mascis whiney and then there is this guy whiney. His lyrics are too distorted to be easily comprehended leaving its overly emotional tone unsympathetic. And it's frankly just mixed too loudly. I miss the inventive dirty keyboard noise in the background that are actually playing some interesting major/minor chord progressions, but they're drowned out by the lead singer's psyched out vocal effects. It's too bad because with a little more studio time on this one it could have been just as successful as side A.

In fairness, both songs provide a lyric sheet. And the lyrics are really, really good.

The cassette itself has a minimal yet tasteful silkscreen job with various stamps to show its DIY authenticity.

--Jack Turnbull