Monday, July 16, 2012

Broken Cups-Slaves of the Grave LP (2012)

One of the best books I read as a teenager was Don DeGrazia's American Skin. Set on Chicago's North Side during the mid-80s, it's about a bourgeois suburban boy who runs away to the city, becomes a skinhead, and spends his formative years fighting it out in the vicious turf wars of the era between Nazi and anti-nazi skinhead gangs. When they're not bashing fascist heads in the gutter, Alex & his friends are working door at the infamous Chicago club Medusa's, home of proto-industrial Wax Trax acts, synthpunk, etc.

Broken Cups woulda fit in quite well on that scene. The band consists of a drummer who sounds like a drum machine, a guitarist specializing in minimal, Gang of Four-style riffing, and manic vocalist who either yowls like the singer for Scratch Acid or croons it like Dracula.  "Slaves" is 80s worship down cold: dehumanized beat, pulsing guitar notes on the riff, with the singer howling on the riff about bein' a slave. Spooky.

Most of the songs on the album are a variant on this, moving from from mid-tempo tunes you could dance to ("The Burnout", "She Thinks of Death") to speeded up robot punk ("Bank of Souls"). Although they hail from Budapest, they'd fit in quite well on a bill with American gloomrockers like Chicago's Population or Oakland's Branes.

Download and buy the LP here. Check out a video for "Flesh" here.

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