Friday, March 28, 2014

Sweatermeat, Bad Boobs, Eviction Records

Sweatermeat just got tight.

Sort of.

I'm not sure how many releases there are of Sweatermeat records, or Sweatermeat-related recordings,  on the local Eviction Records label. I find them in odd places. On the bus. Under garbage cans. Once, the vocalist/bassist for the band, Yoko Molotov, walked up to me and silently handed me a stack of about 10 CDs and without saying a word, turned and walked away. A man next to me leaned over and whispered, "that seemed very mysterious."

Eviction Records houses a variety of performers who act as a family, contributing to each others' work in a huge collaborative incestuous effort to create no matter what. It reminds me of the Free Sound family in the late 90s in Lexington, or the CD-R releases of Logos here in the Louisville circa 2005. Lo-fi experimentations created cheaply and released into the world. Releases from these bands, such as Pajama, Sweatermeat, Niles Kane, Harpy, or the huge collaboration concepts like Pot Brownies on Christmas , are as punk as it gets. Photocopied black and white covers on home recordings ranging from loose narrative punk garage to trashy formless jams to conversations cut-up and mixed back on themselves to straight unrecognizable high-decibel shrieking noise, all most-often honed in-the-red. In a way, this is some of the most important shit being made in Louisville.

Because, at some point, fuck pretense and just make something.

That often lacks in the bigger levels of players in a city's music scene. Carefully crafted jam sessions exist, sure, but they are often regulated only certain players and that can breed gates of stagnancy and snobbishness. It's a nice fresh freak air to hear someone make something (many things) without a whiff of pompousness. Not saying I don't love the Big Rock, cause I do. But these folks do these albums with an energy and a genuine love for experimenting with sound, as well as a friendliness, a sense of humor and a fuck you to convention.

That being said, Sweatermeat's latest CD/cassette Bad Boobs looks awesome and sounds awesome, and the band has upped the notch on their previous records. The trio's usual minestrone plash of lo-fi volumes puked against a brick wall are suddenly roped into a slightly more controlled and dare I say honed and direct effort, and it works, because it comes the closest to capturing what they sound like live. This is all energy without a care of self-importance.

"Surf Dick" is Yoko singing in full brattiness armed to the minx with one the best cooked bass guitar tones I've ever heard. "My Name Is Bo" (with Bo Borders) is backporch storytelling rear-ended by a bad ass fuzzed-out surfy instrumental. "Boy Got a Turd" is simple, funky, and has a desperate need to convey that a boy has a turd on his back."Party All Night" is actually as fun as it sounds. And "Saturday Morning" is a collection of cartoon theme songs ("Heathcliff," "Duck Tales," others) mashed into Neutral Milk Hotel's "Oh Comely" for a catchy, creepy effect.

Sweatermeat trapses through Bad Boobs, acting as its own Minerva of artistic sloppiness, full of people you can tell are as much bandmates as party-friends. Few bands seem to exhibit this dangerous attitude of not-giving-a-shit if they're in the cool crowd and just making some goddamn tunes. I see it with Rude Weirdo and The FuckMunkys, and a couple others; it's refreshing. Sometimes having a sense of humor can create some of the most brilliant, fearless and connective music.

Sweatermeat: the higher they get, the better they themselves, and me.

Sweatermeat's record release show is Saturday, April 26 at Mag Bar with The Awkwardnauts, Friktion and KP and Me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Blood Planet, Ducks Never Say "Die"

The birds are coming back. Grass is growing through asphalt cracks. Sidewalks are filled with shitcore again, and it's a beautiful thing. Ducks so mighty, are these.

Everything in-the-redder than everything else.

Plod with Blood Planet into destruction. Distortion remigration into blown speakers, feedback whales, smashed snares. This latest EP shows that this band is not quieting down, but only distorting more. Theirs is a clang for survival, a clawing at sound, ripping it apart, pulling the body through fuckery that is loud, obnoxious and almost sinful.

The bass, or guitar, or whatever it is, on "Wolf the Dentist" sounds like a rusty chainsaw losing its teeth, grinding on a stone boulder, brandished by skinny madman on a tear-bender in the backwoods of Satanland. And while the Sabbathy plod of "Wolf" is as mighty as an Iommi riff, it's micturated for sewer pleasures. "ORION" is just as mighty for its neck-breaking tempo and piercing feedbacks. The vocals sound like they were recorded in mikes in the middle of a battle of fires and shivs.

No question this is one of my favorite bands in Louisville.

Go to the bandcamp. Here's the stream. Throw away your ears.

Guignol, Demo

These songs make me feel like I'm on drugs. In a good, numb, mumbling, incoherent way. And a scary, shaky-legged, paranoid, fear-of-losing-to-insanity-and-never-coming-back way. Maybe it's because I was offered drugs last night, but refused them. Maybe it's because I heard some friends tell scary/funny drug stories the other night. Maybe drugs are on my mind, Maybe this tape makes me feel like drugs. Maybe I want to do them again. Maybe I shouldn't.

We're stuck in the dark here, the silver linings are shorned millilamberts, the only miracle to guide us barely shone a ways back. Now we're just telling ourselves to not kill ourselves with an electronic daily repeated mantra. These songs are delivered as dark rock should be, making my heart beat a little faster, my lids glimmer with lost hopes, shut and turn inward. Everything is black.

Guignol exist in Lexington, and I know nothing of them, other than they have cemeteries in their sightlines. I believe the singer is man I knew in another life and time as Gorgeous George. I'm glad he's making music. Anton is in the Lexington metal band Tombstalker. And this was recorded by Joey Elsinore (of The Elsinores and Salad Influence) at SANTA/Brave Captain HQ.

This is a gothic wave of synth and reverb, words buried in echoes, riffs plucked as post-punk leads that swerve and call. There's a Bauhaus/Love and Rockets creepiness that permeates amongst the sampled screams and cries, even moments of Cure-ishness in "Chemical City." Looking forward to more from this group.

Stream and buy at Guignol's bandcamp.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Raw Thug, Sugar Pills

Everything is running slower. Not microwave speed but oven-bake speed. It's not the speed, it's the meters. Every word is latent by a small lag, each keystroke doesn't deliver until a split second later. Makes me pause between every letter punch. My thoughts wayfare and drift during track one, "Coco Heart (Revelations of John Bosch)." I've listened to it several times now, all 16 minutes. And it's the notes inbetween.

I was told an old cat of mine died yesterday at 16 years old. In another city, 90 minutes East. It's been a week of passing on. We're still looking for the obituaries. And the Glitches. Nine gigs cleared last night. Three hours. There's an abortiveness to translating Romanian word after word; lost. Tomes. Everything is behind. Borodin, Hungarian, the Miami peoples of Wisconsin,  microficheing, circulation problems in the legs. Breathing is exhausting, Dave.

This is what happens when I listen to "Coco Heart." I get sucked into thoughts and zones. It's a subtle track of unguessable instrumentations. I think there are some kind of reeds in there; definitely some synths. Sometimes they sound like jazz; sometimes like birds; sometimes like trawling schooners from the future. I can't stop listening to it on some days. It makes me lost a little bit in what's around me, and coats all that in what's in front of me. A hazy alertness. Good Raw Thug.

This is a mysterious release by Raw Thug. But, as usual, immersed in its own MIA predictability. I mean, what fucking album isn't mysterious by him/them. Originally released in 2011 by Bezoar Formations, Loin Seepage has brought this back to life via cassette. There's experimental instrumentals and there's that one jazzy rap-spoken word title track. "Painting toenails, if you know what I mean."

Sugar Pills is a subtly sharp ESPish escapism that realizes the vitality in bent guitars and electronics and uncovered sounds still swilling in leftover wet leaves of last Fall and drying in sun. It's planted in a Solaris earth, surrounded by a hull of "Owry Giant Girlfriend." Sometimes it's better to read characters that you don't understand at all.

Available at Astro Black Records and on the Loin Seepage site.