Monday, January 14, 2013

TOP TEN 2012: OTHER MUSIC LPs PART 2 OF 2

BUCK GOOTER - WITCH MOLECULES LP (X-Mist)
Buck Gooter from Harrisonburg, Virginia combine broken electronic sounds with blues-rock guitar riffs, 80s industrial, drum computer beats and hateful shouted vocals. Their songs are made with super minimal instrumental arrangements, manic repeats and various damaged, disturbing sounds. Not poppy, not catchy and not melodic - Bucker Gooter's music is anything but beautiful. Listening to "Witch Melecules" with all it's ugliness is sometimes exhausting, but that just seems to be the special thing about this record. They are taking the best parst of Throbbing Gristle, Flipper and The Dicks "These People" era to create their very own unique style without giving a fuck about current trends and hypes. Recorded by Don Zientera at Inner Ear studios. (Listen to it here)

CHEATER SLICKS - REALITY IS A GRAPE LP (Columbus Discount)
Cheater Slicks from Columbus, Ohio were formed in 1987 and they are still active after more than a quarter century. This is their first studio record since 2007 and its yet another proof of their oustanding status among the US garage genre. They merge garagepunk with doleful pop meldodies, 60s psych, high speed rock and weird guitar noise, but they don’t paint themselves into any corners. "Reality Is A Grape" is filled with amazing instrumental passages, that are just as endearing as the pop elements with it's subliminal sadness and their restrained, but catchy melodies. In the front of their songs are the unique long drawn-out vocals with it's jaded sounding. A great record by a great band. (Listen to it here)noisseurs of truly intense music have recognized the brilliance of this criminally over-looked band.
DUM DUM GIRLS - END OF DAZE LP (Subpop)
I've been very much into Dum Dum Girl's early releases including their first LP on Hozac or their 12" on Captured Tracks. Their early style was a perfect combination of punkrock with psych and Jesus And The Mary Chain, based on super fuzzy guitars and Dee Dee's unique and mysterious vocals. It's always difficult, when a band changes the style, you've loved, but it in case of the Dum Dum Girls it's still well done music: Since their last full lenght "Only In Dreams" they've developed to a cleaner production in line with the Sub Pop indie sound. "End of Daze" is their darkest record with a dejected atmosphere created with quiet, but complex song structures. The lyrcis deal with a listing of several interpersonal disappointments, sufferings and hurts. But after all it ends up with a spark of hope: "It's the end of daze" are Dee Dee's finsihing words in the last song. Alltogether this is a perfect indie record and even if I'm still more into their early stuff, it's exciting to track Dum Dum Girl's musical development. (Listen to it here)

FEATURELESS GHOST - PERSONALITY MATRIX LP (Night People)
First full lenght release by this twopiece from Atlanta. Featureless Ghost are heavily influenced by electronic music and dance music from the 80s and early 90s. They are taking the best parts of synth pop, minimal wave, trance and dark wave to create their very own contemporary style of electronic music. "Personality Matrix" features ten danceable tracks, based on pounding beats, poppy synth melodies and a dreamy, yet dark atmsophere. On top of that there's change of catchy female and deep male vocals. If you're digging releases on Industrial records as much as other current Night People bands like Terror Bird, Goldendust or Blanche Blanche Blanche, you'll also dig this great album. The cover art looks great, but it's only printed on a two-sided board (like all Night People releases). I would have prefered a real record sleeve. (Listen to it here)

HORRID RED - NIGHTLY WREATHS LP (Terrible)
Horrid Red is an offshot of Teenage Panzerkorps featuring frontman Bunker Wolf plus members of Burial Hex. "Nightly Wreaths" is already their third full lenght since 2010. Horrid Red's sound is heavily influenced by Bunker Wolf's dark unique vocal style and his brilliant, weird German lyrics. He is the reason, why it's not possible to review this record without referencing Teenage Panzerkorps. But in contrast to them, "Nightly Wreaths" ranges from a simular UK postpunk/ gothpunk style influenced by The Cure and Joy Division to contemporary electronic soundscapes comparable to current Not Not Fun releases and a sense for melodies and elements of pop music. Another excellent instalment in Horrid Red's discography. (Listen to it here) 

MERCHANDISE - CHILDREN OF DESIRE LP (Katorga Works) 
Tampa, Florida is the hometown of some of the most unconventional US underground acts like Neon Blud, Diet Cokeheads, Cult Ritual and American Snakeskin. Merchandise share or have shared members with most (or all!?) of the named bands, but they are probalbly the most catchy among them. Merchandise's second full lenght is grounded in several different music genres of the 1980s: They merge postpunk in the tradition of Joy Division, New Order and The Smith with shoegaze, industrial and Jesus And The Mary Chain's noise-pop. "Children Of Desire" is less noisier than Merchandise's early works. It's pop-friendly song structures are paired with outsized experimental soundscapes (including two extended 10 minute songs), a dazed atmosphere and their very own weird feedbacks and reverbs. Carson Crox' voice shows influences of Morrissey, without sounding like a boring reproduction. Instead of a lyric sheet, they've included some kind of a diary printed in a black cover. It tells storys of personal deseases caused by the search of sense in a world without sense. At least that's my interpretation for a brief summary. Nice idea anyway. (Listen to it here

PROTOMARTYR - NO PASSION ALL TECHNIQUE (Urinal Cake)
"No Passion Al Technique" is allready Protomartyr's third release in 2012 after their two excellent 7"s. Once again it's an amazing punkrock record by this band out of Detroit rock city. The connection to Tyvek is obvious here, even if the songs are darker and tighter. The guitar work is in the frontline: a lot of riffage rooted in 70s rock, feebacks, reverbs, and a good balance between dissonant parts and discreet melodies. Protomartyr add powerful bass lines, pounding straight drum beats and charismatic spoken vocals for good measure. There are links to cold postpunk like Joy Division or Birthday Party, but it's definitely not some kind of reproduction. I play this LP every day since I've got it, sometimes multiple times in a row. Fantastic! (Listen to it here)
    
PUMICE - PUNY LP (Soft Abuse) 
Latest full lenght by New Zealand's Stefan Neville under his Pumice moniker, already active since the mid 90s. Neville's music is grounded in the tradition of early 80s Flying Nun releases and the unconvential sound of early 90s New Zealand bands like first of all Dead C. He creates experimental and fancifuls soundscapes with a marked prefence for lo-fi sounds and DIY cassette recordings. The songs have a perfect balance between fuzzed out rawness, beautiful, desolate melodies and epic repeats. They are focused on instrumental arrangements, only with a spare use of Neville's low recorded, but fascinating voice. The result is an great album with it's very own beauty. (Listen to it here)

TIMES NEW VIKING - OVER & OVER LP (Siltbreeze)
Times New Viking are back on Siltbreeze! "Over & Over" is also a musical return to their early releases: A perfect combination of "Dig Yourself"-era lofi-pop and their fuzzed out, super distorted "Rip It Off" masterpiece. That is to say unconventional, weird with a strong lo-fi / cassette four track aesthetic and with despondent vocals floating over the six songs of this mini-album. Noisy indierock with punk roots and an appreciation for poppy melodies. This is a lot better than their previous releases and it's hopefully a restart of a great band. (Listen to it here)

WOODS - BEND BEYOND LP (Woodsist)
7th regular full lenght in the large Woods discography and I still can't get enough Woods records. They've decreased their experimental side and pushed their 60s folk and indie influence way into the forefront; even if there's still a fair ammount of psychedelic rock creeping in the guitar leeds. Their songs seem to capture the best moments of extented jam sessions and they are downright infectious for sheer enthusiasm. The subliminal darkness of "Bend Beyond" is a bit unusual compared to their previous releases, but it's the fantastic addition to their 60s lo-fi pop sound filled with grandiose melodies. (Listen to it here