CRUZ SOMERS “UV-B” C8 (Big Dunce Records)

What atrocity is Cruz Somers gonna hit us with next? First it was the alien tech in the trunk of his ’64 Chevy Malibu on Here Comes the Tarp. Now we’ve got a robotic pink abomination, begging us from the cover of this tape to kill it so it doesn’t have to live in pain any longer. “UV-B” calls to us for mercy, but we don’t help it one bit – we press play and listen to its death throes. It wails like an engine revved way too hard for way too long, drum machines threatening to overheat and crack the head gasket. The guitars in its guts grind away helplessly against themselves in the absence of maintenance, and the recorded voices crackle through static emanating from epileptic speakers. Cruz Somers is in the red here, pushing “UV-B” as hard as it can go before it violently gives up its ghost, shuddering to a halt and spraying ball bearings everywhere while leaking oil and other lubricants from various parts. Fortunately that final breakdown happens outside of the recording, and we’re able to simply enjoy the headlong punk chaos as it unfurls. So don’t really feel bad for “UV-B” – it served its purpose admirably in the end. Maybe its spare parts can be reconstituted for the next EP. Or maybe we should stop building robots with feelings, only to destroy them.

--Ryan Masteller