Here's the latest batch of stuff for review. I have more coming over the next couple weeks (Night Birds, Big Crux, Brain F≠, Executioner, Insult, Crusades, etc etc). Thanks to everyone who has sent stuff in. Much appreciated.
Getting ready to head out for the No Babies show at the Smell. But before I go, just wanted to let you know the first print issue of Tastemaker should be out by the end of this month. Or mid November at the very latest. I'll post more details on that in the next week or so.
CERVIX - Life Fucker EP
Blown out noisy stuff from this NYC outfit that takes it cues from Japanese bands like Confuse, Comes, Disclose, etc. I like the fact that singer is female, as it breaks slightly away from the formula of this style (usually some dude grunting and burping into to microphone). It sounds like it was recorded in a storm cellar. There's a lot of space in the sound. The vocals have reverb, the bass sounds a little distant, and there's the grinding noise of the guitar that hangs above the din. That might sound like some put down, but it's not. It works well with this style. I like the opening of "Death Culture" where it starts off sort of quiet, then the drums pick up the pace, and the guitar come screeching in to set everything off. This stuff is fast without being thrash. (videodiseaserecords.com)
DEFECT DEFECT / DAYLIGHT ROBBERY / FOREIGN OBJECTS - split 12" EP
The idea of a three way split is a little off putting for myself. But this has two bands I really like; Defect Defect and Daylight Robbery, then there's Foreign Object, who I'm starting to warm to. This is also a one sided affair, so all bands are on one side. Two songs each. Stylistically they're all pretty similar. Heavily influenced by the late 70s/early 80s California punk sound. And they all pull it off with finesse.
Defect Defect kick things off with the raging "People My Age", detailing how dull people who should know better become as they 'get older'. Such a great song, and definitely something I've been thinking about a lot lately, as I slide further into middle age wondering where a lot of my friends have gone off to. The delivery is awesome, and delivered with believable attitude and disgust. Not over done or dramatic. Just straight up and honest. "Napalmed Babies And New Palm Trees" follows up with an attack on complacency and alienation. I'll go as far to say Defect Defect get better and better with every new release.
Daylight Robbery slow things down a smidge with their two cuts, but keep the energy up just the same, though a little darker and more forlorn. The dual male/female vocals remind me of X, and the music is somewhat similar, though more on the Wipers side of things. Very well done, and I really like the mood they create. Hoping they have more records out very soon. Both songs on here are awesome. Can't decide which I like more. "Flat City" or "Patience Loser"... I'll just have to keep listening for a few weeks longer.
Foreign Objects are starting to generate some buzz. I have the first single, and found it okay. The two songs here ("The Numbers" and "Problems") are a little more to my liking. I'm thinking this band may be more impressive on a LP format. I say this because once they set the tone, the songs are suddenly over, and I'm feeling like, "Wait, things are just getting started. Come back!" The delivery is snotty, and convincing. Of the three bands on there, Foreign Objects is the most raw and verging on chaos. Just a little more push it sounds and they could completely blow apart. And I mean that in a good way. "Problems" is their standout of the two. I'll have to get their LP now. (Dirt Cult, 713 Stagecoach Dr, Las Cruces, NM 88011 / email@example.com)
PSYCHO - s/t EP
Finally a buzzsaw shaped record I'll own. Pyscho have been around for nearly 30 years (I interviewed them once for a zine I used to put out in junior high circa 1985), cranking away at their raw sound that mixes hardcore with metal elements. Sometimes grind, sometimes not. This time around they're more on the hardcore side of things. At least to my ears. The second side is my favorite; the cover of G.G. Allin's "Legalize Murder" is great, and the original "Religious" stands out, as it slows down a bit and lets the darkness in a bit more. Not to mention, anti-religion songs tend to win me over pretty easily. Nice to know Psycho haven't softened over the years. (Patac, patacrecords.com)
THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE SONIC SIX - Isolated Incidents 1.3 12"
I believe this is the final installment of the "Isolated Incidents" series. The Secret Society of The Sonic Six are easily one of my favorite bands. Perhaps that's not ethical or 'professional' to admit to having a favorite band in reviewing records, but it's not like I'm getting paid to right this stuff. Anywhoo... But one of the many reasons I'm so into this band is that they are constantly evolving. You sort of know what you're going to get from each record, but there's always a twist somewhere in the sound. For those of you who have been attending their live shows over the years, you may have noticed even the earlier songs are sounding a bit different these days.
No easy comparison can be made to this outfit. Which is a plus. The music resides somewhere on another plane between electronic music similar to early Cabaret Voltaire and Ike Yard, as well as Goth. But never too much in one camp to get classified. The sound is dark, at points dancey, sometimes minimal, all with noir undercurrents. "Terminal" sounds like something you would hear in the soundtrack of an late 70s / early 80s independent crime movie. Listening to it I get visions of empty midnight streets, save for a couple people up to no good entangling their desperate lives into further desperation. "Reservation" picks up the pace and mood slightly to a more dancey and lively style. Lyrics are kept to a minimum, though just as effective as a long tirade from most bands. "Strangers" closing this record out with a semi Euro disco feel. Estara's vocals pull you in and the music does the rest.
This record is really limited, and comes with a CD that collects the entire "Isolated Incidents" series. Buy now or cry later. (www.sssonicsix.com)
SLIMY CUNT AND THE FISTFUCKS - Bastards EP
I'm of the opinion that if you're going to choose an offensive name you better have the sound to back it up. All too often I'll pick up a record or tape of a band with a name like Cum Stain, or something along those lines, and it turns out to be wimpy pop shit. Fortunately that's not the case here. These scums play some dirty and vile punk rock in the vein of Fang. The vocals are growled with venom, and makes everything sound convincing. Sounds like he really doesn't give a fuck that he was kicked out of everywhere they go as illustrated in the song "Kicked Out". The total scorcher on here is "I Did It". Short and to the point. Again, it's the vocals delivery backed by the crushing drum beat, that really makes this cook. This is also the song that I find myself listening to a lot. This is a band that's not concerned with acceptance, saying the nice things and towing the line. I like that, and I like this record. (Patac, patacrecords.com)