The Victims “Perth Is a Culture Shock” from All Loud on the Western Front (1989)
I’ve been listening to a lot of Jay Hinman’s Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio episodes while performing mindless, repetitive tasks for hours on end and it’s been great company. The above song by the Victims is one of many that stuck out. There’s almost too much in each episode to digest, but that just makes repeated listens enjoyable. If you’re burned out on jaded critics trying to argue the relevance of some flavor-of-the-month band, uneducated on your past and present garage rock, punk and post-punk, or just want to catch some new stuff, Dynamite Hemorrhage is your antidote. Jay’s one of the best filters for the oversaturation that is Music on the Internet: the man’s enthusiasm for really good songs that he really likes will set you straight. Why waste energy on music you don’t like?
The latest Dynamite Hemorrhage episode can be found here - you’ll note that if you scroll down, there are the previous 24 episodes available for download/stream. As if the man can’t stay busy enough, he’s also coming out with a printed fanzine in the near future - details here. Dive in!
Disembraining Machine has been quiet for a little while - I haven’t checked in since that Scraps 7” - but the label returns with the sophomore album from the sorta grossly monikered Amateur Childbirth, Pripyat. This one’s mostly acoustic guitar and double-tracked vocals (à la Satanic Rockers) with touches of violin, drums and some other subtle instrumentation. Sounds like it could be a snoozer, but these deceptively simple strummers stick out and stick with you. The vocals carry most of the melody (see “Out,” “Menopause In Reverse” and “Toothache of Poison Rain” for proof) and keep things from sinking under the haze created by the slo-mo music. I can’t even begin to parse the lyrics to most of these songs: the opening track’s coda repeats “No, we are not accepting demos at this time” and things don’t get much clearer from there. Thing is, these songs are strong enough to stand up without the support of a lyric sheet (which the LP hopefully contains) - follow the twists and turns of the quick 1-2 “Decommissioned Antibiotics” and “Raincoat” to be sold. Pripyat is pared down to the essentials: an unassuming record capable of confusion and awe.
Listen to the whole thing here. Statesiders can look to Little Big Chief for a copy of the LP, which is limited to 300. It’s sucked me in, these 11 tiny little metal barbs that bury themselves in your skin.
X__X "No Nonsence" (1978)
The elusive 1978 Drome Records 45: X_____X in “No Non ¢s.”. From the 4th coming epic Ektro records release (Those scamps X____X in “X Sticky Fingers X”).
"X__X S/T X_____X" coming out summer 2013 from FINLAND!!! (Ektro/Full Contact) The two "Drome Records" 7 inchers (that’s what she said!) and some rare and live stuff plus some Dave E. stuff (he was in the band for a micro second)" [source]
Angie “Stars and Dust” from Turning (2013)
Turning is the almost aggressively sullen debut LP from Angie, better known as Angela Bermuda from Circle Pit, Ruined Fortune, Southern Comfort, and probably a few more. Who can keep up these days? Angie picks up where those excellent Ruined Fortune and Southern Comfort 7”s left off with this dead-eyed stare of a record, erasing any ebullience in favor of half-speed rockers that’ll sit well next to your copy of Yer Last Record or 11:11. “Shared Futures” limps toward the miserable idea of its title, “Missing Out” sorta sounds like the UV Race’s “Memenonome” except unable to get out of bed, and “A Certain Friend” is plain devastating. “Shadow Twin” and the motorized "Parallels" pick up the tempo but Angie’s vocals never leave the tarmac. I’d be lying if the change in seasons didn’t affect me in any way, and Angie’s LP is perfectly timed to coincide with this widespread not-so-phenomenal phenomenon. Those unaffected by something that happens with regularity every year shouldn’t shrug this one off, though: there’s enough riffs and repetition to get lost in on this record, and a ton of standout guitar leads (such as the chilling one starting at 1:13 in “Stars and Dust” above) to navigate you through the murk. It’s unclear to me if this is Angie putting a particularly turbulent episode of her life to rest or not - it sure sounds like it! - but it’s a helluva way to work through a dark time. This here’s one o’ the best records to come out in recent memory.
Angie’s Turning LP is available on wax from Easter Bilby (check Goner and other fine retailers for mailorder) and digitally from Rice Is Nice, where you can stream the whole thing. Take your time with this one, it really sinks into yer bones.
憬觀:像同叠 “The Offset: Spectacle” (LP. Rose Mansion Analog. RMA-LP-01. 2011).
- 逃回洞裏 - Back In The Hole
- 平土的失眠 - Flatline Insomnia
- 碰壁 - Snags
- (給李智良的）二進制進行曲 - Binary March (For Lee Chi-Leung)
- 循環線 - The Loop Swing
- 著色 - Colour
- 向下 - Downward
- 死空氣 - Dead Air
- 安東尼奧尼的哀歌 - Lament For Michelangelo Antonioni
- 身體的後裔 - Bodies’ Descendants
- 踏踏 - Stomp
“Compressed, self contained, and brazenly unique, each song by the Offset: Spectacles hits like a short, sharp shock. Percussive guitar and organ scrape at the surface of the left eardrum, and the bass hits like a combination of a synthesizer and a bongo. Get ready to be hectored by the ghosts of Cantonese poets and the Kowloon King. Sure as you can draw a straight line from The Offsets’ birthplace in Hong Kong to the site of their self-imposed exile in Beijing, there’s a connection between their music and the Velvet Underground, just somewhere along the 24 hour train ride things got muddled. Oscillator solos are reinterpreted for guitar, Bo Diddley blues get played drum-less, with only phantom rhythm for company. Songs like “Bodies’ Descendents” and “Snags” may bring to mind the endless empty highway, but the only possibility here is a brief sprint on an overpass above the midnight lights of a rotting port. Today, no escape is possible from a(ny) city, so the Offsets simply claim ownership, pushing back against at the neon signs, TV’s, and computers with a seductive spectacle of their own. (by Simon Frank)”
Listen/purchase: The Offset: Spectacles LP by 憬觀:像同叠
Gene Segerblom as photographed by her husband, artist/photographer Cliff Segerblom, at the edge of a cliff overlooking Hoover Dam in 1941 (via).
Currently reading Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century by Michael Hiltzik.