Friday, March 29, 2013

Monozid-A Splinter for the Pure LP (2013)

Leave it to the Germans to drop the cleanest, crispest post-punk LP I've heard in years. Most of the music I review on Drug Punk sounds like garbage-that's half the appeal, usually-but not this one. For some reason I drank half a fifth of Rebel Yell whiskey last night and despite being packed full of razor wire guitar, Monozid's debut LP isn't stepping on my brain with steel-toed Docs. Rather, it makes me wanna dance after slamming a bit more of that Rebel Yell, the remnants of which have been staring at me from my kitchen counter like an albatross.

Monozid's been around for 10 years, and although I can't make out what they're singing about, any band from Leipzig together that long is making music for the right reasons. Most contemporary post-punk is a heaping pile of dog shit. With due apologies for mixing metaphors, it goes down like a can of soda: sickly sweet and pleasurable, then all that corn syrup starts coating yr innards and it feels simply sickly. I noted this in my review of Monozid's 2010 split with Bootblacks, and I'll say it again: if you're ripping off the Leeds crew and it ain't DIY, then fuck you.

Anyway, the music. The years these guys have played together really shines through here. The songs are brutally efficient, with nary a hole in Monozid's wall of sound. They combine noisy, atmospheric guitar and a rhythm section that may be composed of automotons. The title track really stands out: it could be a demo from In the Flat Fields. "The Drowning," though, really has me hooked. A slow burning piece of brooding white dub, it slowly boils the guitar down to squalling staccato bursts shooting out from the tense riddim before finally blowing over in the last thirty seconds.

If you spent a good portion of your late teens getting wasted to the fresh sounds of The Pop Group, Gang of Four, et. al., get this one.

Listen to the LP, then BUY IT!!!, here. Check out Monzoid live, too:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Gar-The City of Burning Identities EP (2013)

Breezy indie pop is probably last on my mind when I think of modern China, well behind an oppressive Communist Party oligarchy, a massively indigent peasantry, and suffering in general. The natural question when an album like this washes up on one's review pile is: Is the band worth a damn once the novelty value has worn off?

Tentatively, yes. Indie pop isn't really my thing (Beach House and Beirut excepted), and I haven't heard anything this airy since the last time I heard...uh, Air. The Gar, who I understand is something of a phenomenon in Beijing, give us six tracks of well-constructed guitar pop that is as light as a May day. There's a few build ups to My Bloody Valentine-style catharsis ("Love Will Lost Your Love," "Black Hole"), but without the crunch: shoegaze this ain't.

The result is an EP somewhere between Foo Fighters, if Dave Grohl didn't sound so fucking earnest, and a guitar rock band like....well, honestly, I don't know my way around this sort of music. The guitar on "Black Hole" is expansive enough, and provides enough spacy time changes, that it reminded me of space rock stalwarts Russian Circles. It's the best song on the album, and I'd encourage The Gar to go further in this direction: sharper, heavier, more savage. But that's just me.

Anyway, check out this band: they're worth a listen, and are quite good at what they do. This is the sort of music my students would listen to, if 1) they had souls, and 2) listened to good music.

Listen to, then buy, the EP here, courtesy of Tenzenmen Records.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Toddi Wellman-Yeah! Lp (Cocktail Pueblo, 21013)

Back in business for the first time in a long time and broadcasting live from Crescent City, N'aleans...i.e. New Orleans, you idiots.

Anyway, figured I should kick off regular reviews with Toddi Weilman's latest, a weird, spaced out collection of space-and-or-kraut-rock-jams that goes by "Yeah!" This is a collection of sedate, totally weirded out wastoid rock. I've listened to this LP wasted on whiskey and weed for two days straight and still can't give it the "Stoner jams" approval rating, but that's probably a good thing-my room mate is a bona fide hippy, and all she listens to is techno garbage-so whatever.

Toddi Weilman, in any case, dishes out twelve tracks of heavily repetition-oriented garage slop on this LP. each song focuses in obsessively on a single riff, chord arrangement, rhythmic pattern, whatever...and then just stays in said pattern, til the cows come home. I listened to this before wandering around on Bourbon Street and when I got back, and it was a lot more interesting than said Bourbon Street. You'll dig it. Trust me. Whatever.

Hang out with Todi Weilman HERE!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Alone & Forsaken XVII(?): Tomorrow Never comes

So I'm alive and will be resuming regular posting soon. Work, school, and other such grown up endeavors have been precluding my usual levels of stupidty and/or ranting. In the meantime, have fun (or not) listening to this assemblage of tunes I put together awhile ago for a certain someone. Whatever.

1. Buzzcocks-Orgasm Addict
2. Marine Girls-In Love
3. J&M Chain-In Love
4. Sonic Death- [Cyrillic]
5. Dirty Beaches-North East Station
6. Xeno & Oaklander-Toho Picture
7. Carol-Breakdown
8. Led Er Est-Drosophilia Melanogaster
9. No Words-Futile Research
10. High Highs-Flowers Bloom
11. Velvets-I'm Set Free (Closet mix)

Get it here.

In case yr wondering, the title is from a very bad track by Jus Allah, who I loved listening to while smoking blunts back in high school.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Busó-Five Songs 'Til the Spring Wakes Our Hearts Up EP (2013)

 Opening with a sparkle of gusting synth, Buso's

second EP starts off on just the note expected for an EP released in February. The ambient hush of "My Summer Camp" segues into "Sweet Clouds Will Blind Me," which is another inert, almost static, piece of warmth slowly forcing itself through glacial gloom to take a place somewhere close to your heart, or what's left of it.

This EP confirms the promise of Buso's debut EP, "3E."His work reminds me of early-Oughts ambient heroes such as Mum, Sigur Ros, et. al., minus the histrionic, slightly saccharine self-consciousness of above-said acts. Those bands had a sort of aloof, ethereal distance to them, whereas this guy's music is up close and personal-no doubt due to the lo-fi recording.  The heavily processed guitar  is fantastic, conjuring up the icy remoteness of Latvia; followed by "Lie Down," it kinda makes me wanna smile through the ice.
Anyway, the hollow, tunneled out synthwave vibe that made Buso's debut EP a success is at work here. But dude's gone back to the drawing board, studied up on his computer programs, maybe scooped out a bit more of the iron ore of anomie at the center of his heart, and produced a bit of music I'll be listening to for quite a while. I recommend you do the same.
Get into it!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Der Teenage Panzerkorps-Thee Incantations of Bunker Wolf EP (2011)

During an extended tipple yesterday afternoon, a buddy and I were swapping music recommendations and I wouldn't shut up about the San Francisco/Aachen krautpunk powerhouse Der Teenage Panzerkorps (Der TPK). Given my longwinded rant about the virtues of combining motorik grooves with lo-fi punk guitar slop, I figured I should put my mp3 files where my mouth is and share this beaut with y'all.

"Afternoon Service" is thirty-eight seconds of luminescent, crude synthesizer immanence that breaks you in for the EP's rager, "V3." Der TPK is crude, musically speaking, for most people, but their insistent guitar whine and thrumming rhythm section are downright avant garde by punk standards. "V3" propels forward on a Neu!-esque beat, trashed guitar, and Bunker Wolf's Teutonic hollering mixed in the foreground. I can't describe what exactly makes me happy when I blast this at top volume, but it brings a smile to this grizzled old fuck's face every time, dontchaknow.

"Baptismal Fountain" continues clanking along on the 4-track mud march, but the mix is a bit cleaner: I could separate the synth line from the guitar thrum. Ending as it does at 1:43, "BF" doesn't overstay its welcome and would be the intro or coda to any other band's album. As it is, it's a terse bit of cleverness. On "God an Ape," Bunker Wolf continues his monotone howl, mixed so loudly it dwarfs the thump-n-bump of the band.

Es tut mir leid! After blowing out yr eardrums to this masterpiece, mosey on over to Burundi Cloud Records, where you can buy the EP and all the other records Der TPK has released of late. Groove on, goonies.