This is the debut tape/anything from Portland, Oregon’s drum/bass/synth duo, Needles and Pizza. Although their home (PDX) has plenty of one and almost none of the other, the forces are equally represented here. Metaphorically, ‘Needles’ are abrasively buzzing and reluctantly melodic basslines, and ‘Pizza’ is weird party anthems about Air Bud doppelgangers. Literally, ‘Needles’ is a lady who provides such basslines along with Poly Styrene-ish disaffected wailing and even more disaffected songwriting. 'Pizza’ is a dude rocks some simple, driving drumbeats played with obvious gusto, some synth parts like the involuntary orgasms of a misanthropic robot, and penned the afore-referred-to “That Dog Looks Like Air Bud”. All together, they create a sound that bridges the gaps between Big Black, Joy Division and that girl who is friends with all the best bands and says that she’s homeless but you’re kind of skeptical and you know there has to be a longer story there but it’d be such a weird thing to bring up that you just accept that you’ll probably never know, buy her a drink once in a while and enjoy her company/antics. Much more concisely, this tape makes doom-and-gloom danceable and head-bobbing induced whiplash sexy again. Other standout songs include “Frank Might Feel It” and “Mornings 4 Suckers”, with “Grandpas Die” getting an honorable mention.

--Travis Long