Friday, December 7, 2012

Muuy Biien-Knife Fights EP (2012)

Muuy Biien's "Knife Fights" EP might be the most brutally simple recording I've heard all year, and that's saying a lot. It sounds like the band recorded this into a boombox with pots and pans percussion, on an amp with only one channel.It shreds.

 The first four tracks race by in a blur of frantic, truncated guitar riffing and wham-bam boom-bap drumming. The rapid-fire stop-start musicianship, snarled vocals, and hyper-compressed feel of the record all remind me of The Middle Class' Out of Vogue EP, with the arty pretensions gutted and thrown out. In fact, Muuy Biien's music is so concise, a better comparison might be with Tennessee hardcore heroes Koro."Father" sums up Muuy Biien's sound: a rushed snare drum starts the track, which whizzes along to a total time of 42 seconds. The drums are a panic attack, but with none of the showy musicianship of blastbeats or ineptitude of punk drumming: it's simply fast, minimalistic, and efficient. I can't tell if the guitarist is playing chords or just strumming patterns on the guitar as fast as he can; the guitar sound is a tornado frenzy.

The real headfuck, though, is "Rotter": the recording is such a departure from the first four songs, I initially thought it was another band. The song consists of a series of guitar notes repeated over and over, with a warm wash of watery ambience slathered all over it. Halfway through, handclaps shimmer into existence somewhere in the mix. "Rotter" is the dream the rest of the EP was in such a hurry to get to.

Look for this one on my year-end list. You can listen to the EP on Muuy Biien's bandcamp page; then, go buy the real deal for only $5 over at Wondertrick Records! The Muuy Biien LP smokes too, so this is the band to watch in 2013.