Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sarongs-s/t CS (Prison Art/Velidox tapes, 2011)

Like the work of DNA, who deconstructed rock 'n' roll into twitching bits and glued it back together with twisted rhumba bridges, Sarongs' first album is a series of precise arguments as much as a collection of songs. Almost unique among the slew of bands that have resurrected no wave in the last few years, Sarongs keeps the distortion to a minimum, and the result is a remarkably versatile album.
"Pedestrians" begins as a fairly straightforward post-punk tune, but chops up into two or three distinct parts. "North Face" jerks the listener in the other direction, into frantic drum fills and yelped vox-the singer sounds like he's trying to jump out and away from the rest of the band, and the song's held in place by the sneering female chorus line. It's like hearing two people get in a screaming match with an epileptic fit going on.

This would be a very boring release if "surf+no wave song arrangements" was the only thing going on here. Not so.  On the last two tracks, "Mineral" and "Goodbye Horses," Sarongs veers into truly fucked, truly evil ground. Using sustained, pulsing guitar, plodding drums, and plaintive vocals, both songs create a distinct sense of lurking the feeling you get walking home late at night, with someone following you just out of sight.

Sarongs is up to no good on this, and it fuckin' rips. Winter's just around the corner, and this is a good soundtrack to curling up under a filthy blanket with a bottle of peppermint schnapps, hiding from the cold and your demons.
Listen to it and BUY IT here. Check out Prison Art tapes, too.

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