An Albatross - Blessphemy (of the Peace-Beast Feastgiver and the Bear Warp Kumite) (Ace Fu)
While the jagged, post-punk blitz of these Pennsylvanians (you know, where "America Starts") sounded pretty fine from the get-go, I never quite separated them from the huge post-fact surge of Locusts and Lightning Bolts in waiting. They had that power, the complex spazzed-out mutant hardcore thing happening, but as long as Melt Banana were pumping out records I was pretty happy having them fill my quota. This new one though definitely made me sit up and reassess in a big way; AA's hints of hyper-prog antics (Goblin and Magma especially) have blossomed into full psychedelic identity; quiet dreamy passages now amplify the nutzoid eruptions when they enter the proceedings; and despite the blink-and-you-miss-it identity of this disc (18 songs, 26 minutes!) you are totally pummelled AND drawn in to this crazy universe they've built and blown to pieces. A few weeks ago I went home to visit the family and lo and behold AA were having their record release party in a bar in my own hometown, and they DESTROYED! The second they kicked in, the place was in complete chaos, the monkey-shrieking-in-a-boiling-pot singer was boogie-boarding right through the heads of the crowd by the second song, while not missing a cue in their dense, fucked up prog-hardcore blasts. The utterly ridiculous amounts of genres being thrown in reminded me of seeing the Boredoms circa '92, but even that show seemed relaxed compared to this.
Gregg Turkington and Brendan Walls for the Golding Institute - Final Relaxation (Ipecac)
With Neil Hamburger so busy globetrotting these days, I was worried his friend Gregg Turkington was dropping out of the scene altogether. A few years ago Turkington with co-author Brandan Kearney created a book of rock review anagrams called Warm Voices Rearranged (example: Oasis "Definitely Maybe" = It's Noise, by a deaf limey), and now (with Brendan Walls and the Golding Instituite) has just released Final Relaxation, subtitled Your Ticket To Death Through Hypnotic Suggestion. Recalling cheeseball California New Age spoken-word LPs, a sinister and supposedly "calming" voice appears and drops names of famous "clients" (Including Jan of Jan and Dean, Bob Hope and Robert Palmer) and zones you into submission with droning voice (and a thick humming tone in the background) promising relaxation. Not wanting to reveal much more for fear of spoiling the journey, let's just say that you quickly realize that this is more than that, it's plan is to lead you to a....quieter place and the next thirty minutes are spent convincing you to off yourself ("leave your body vehicle") as subtly as possible. My favorite prodding: reminding one of their failures as a cook ("one could spend a lifetime watching...watching...a television chef prepare a soup, that you will never ever ever be able to duplicate. This time...is wasted time. You will not be able to cook like a television chef. Your time on earth will be spent failing.") After airing it in its entirety, one listener emailed complaining bitterly: "I've listened to this twice and still haven't killed myself."
Effi Briest - Phoenix/Shards (No Label)
Not much known about this 2 song CD single except, well, they're an all-gal Brooklyn band named after a 1974 Fassbinder movie, kind of remind me of Lora Logic's moments of fronting the Red Crayola among other impeggable traits. "Phoenix" dances around a kind of snaky Birthday Party-like guitar figure with the vocalist steeped in some kind of exotic accent leading the descent into a the glassy echo chamber that closes the track out. "Shards" evokes some Savage Republic moments, emitting blurts of middle-eastern guitar through a Creaturesy jungle of flutes and sensual whispers that swells into a whole other cave. It's a neat, sidestepping single for sure, look foward to hearing more and seeing 'em out. Contact: effibriestinfo (at) gmail (dot) com. Both songs available on MP3 on their My Space page.
Junkpile Jimmy - Alberhill (Cartel Ilutre LP)
xNoBBQx - Sunshine of Your Love (Breakdance the Dawn cassette)
Whoa, at first it looked like this guy was doing merely the one-man guitar/drum lo-fi squawk right along the lines of Hasil, John Schooley, Bob Log III etc. and I was prepared to say "yup, loves the Oblivians,
junky r&r, heard it" but too quick on the draw there. Instead, this sprawling 28 song double slab of vinyl just plain likes it all dirty. Besides the aforementioned, JJ's liner notes also give nods to Flipper,
Darkthrone, Charlie Feathers, Swans, even Pigface (?)and Ton Loc, and damned if I can't hear it all in there in between the booze-and-drug-fueled whoopin & whompin' going on in the lyrics (yes, many people get beat up and shot in the course of this record, indiscriminate of sex and in several languages to boot). This opus stretches from 1998-2003, so here's hoping our fella is still out there somewhere making his fine treble-kicking racket. Here's Real Audio of "The Scar On Her Pretty Left Cheek".
Meanwhile, in the land Down Under, the duo of xNoBBQx have taken the already befuddling new wave of truly studied (!?) Jandek worship into a new realm of stank. I mean, nobody has been able to pull off what Harry Pussy has done in terms of completely deconstructed rock, and it can be kind of sad when people try and fall flat on their asses, but as a guitar/drums duo the amounts of dirt being heaped on the grave of "blues" and "structure" by these flailing trashniks is in itself worthy of admiration. Sez NZ musician Anthony Milton: "the sheer mindnumbing deliberation and persistency of these vaguely blues-inflected untuned guitar lines lull one into an hypnotic trance whilst at the same time the seeming randomness of the drummers interjections keep one anxiously on the edge of ones seat... Overall it makes Jandek sound like Joe Satriani!" *That* is certain to get the soundscan figures soaring. No? Anyone? Well, at the very least hop to their My Space page, where they host (along with MP3s) a link to one helluva Svankmajer short film.