“Skenes Gland” C20
(Cold Milk)

If this cassette didn’t have “ ‘14 “ clearly labelled on the J Card, I very easily could’ve mistaken this for a lost Mars recording, dug up from some junkie lair in the lower east side. These Netherlands cats are definitely indebted to no wave, that’s for sure, replete with all the hallmarks of the style: guitar mangling, Jackson Pollock splatter drums, and those gurgly channeling vocals that’ll make you want to contort yourself. 

If you’ve read this far you might think I’m writing this off as derivative garbage. Not at all. I had a boyish little grin on my face when the B side ended, in fact. What I dig about Sweat Tongues take on the most antisocial of rock genres is that they occasionally drop the pretense of a rock song entirely and plop in these eerie slowburner noise tracks, something you don’t see a lot of current bands indebted to the No New York comp do. They nail the strained, tense, on-the-verge of collapse tone- the only discernible lyric I can make out on the cassette is, “I can make you KILL someone, juuuust like that.”

On the technical side, the music is well recorded. It’s noisy sure, but all the instruments are laid out bare. Extra points for the primitivist marker doodle album art. Snag a copy if weird people torturing their instruments is your thing.

-- Tim Johnson