Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Year-End Lists: Tapes, Demos, and assorted Miscellanies

What follows is the first installment in my year-end list. EPs and LPs will follow; this here is a list of tapes and other jazz. Most of this is hardcore or punk, since it's mostly punks that bother doing demos these days. The exceptions are mostly recordings I liked but didn't quite fit the LP/EP format, but were fuggin' good, and you should, uh, buy 'em.

These guys were huffing glue and beating up nerds for their copies of the Negazione discography while you were studying for high school finals, kiddies. Named after a piece of American prison slang (watch "Oz" if you don't get it!), Prag dishes out majestically vicious noisepunk that bridges the garage//punk gulf. The rhythm section's a grist mill threshing through granite, the singer's a demented gremlin, and the guitarist very well might have murdered Crazy Spirit's guitarist and stolen his notebook of guitar tabs.

Prag is a hot band to watch in 2014: scuzzy enough for the garage kids, noisy and bratty enough for the ponx, and they can even write songs coherent enough that maybe some civilians could dig 'em too.

You can buy the demo and bash your brains out HERE.

6 tracks of bitter, isolated noise that fly by in a flurry of desperation, muttered declamations, and manic drum fills. Helsinki's Shoplift reminds me of Warsaw:  they probably don't have such a luminous craeer ahead of them, but there's the same crude sense of rhythm and rudimentary skill at song-writing. This is despite (because of?) the fact that it sounds like the band recorded each instrumental track in separate rooms and then glued these tracks together, on top of each other. Basically, this is what punk should sound like: young, desperate, and with a trace of talent beneath the sonic muck.
Shoplift is nice enough to let you download the tape for free, which you can do HERE.

Deformities-Sometimes I Wish for my own Death EP:
The more I listen to it, the more I think that Nick and Drew pre-programmed a coupla drone-droids to record this, went out on a two-day bender, came back, and uploaded the results to bandcamp.

This 2-song EP is a note-perfect statement of why we all listen to noise and garage: Sheer obnoxiousness, first and foremost. There are also occasional glimmers of musicianship somewhere in there, along with grunted/growled gremlin  noises of, presumably, hatred and wishing for one's own death.

If you like these guys' other projects (Sick Thoughts and Kent State), you're guaranteed to like B-More's Deformities. Bratty, not retarded.

Gay Kiss-Summer 2013 demo:

My my, are these boys angry. Like, apoplectic fits of rage in the Mojave Desert angry. Bashing yourself in the face with the mic over and over, angry. The sort of anger that gave us grindcore.

Somehow Gay Kiss makes mindless masculine rage appealing, though. This tape is three tracks of demented-yet-highly-mannered hardcore violence. There are even blastbeats in there, at times! Save this one for the truly bleak days when you're not just thinking about killing yourself, you're actually trying to figure out what's the quicker way to die, pills or jumping off a bridge.*
Buy it, or not, HERE
*To quote a character in The Sopranos, "if you wanna try suicide, pills are A LOT easier."

Barbiturates-Shades 10":
I stumbled upon this band while trying to buy barbiturates with BitCoins.

That's a lie, but it could be true (if I knew how to use and/or buy BitCoins). Brisbane's Barbiturates are serious fucking downer music, though. This EP is like going to the prom blitzed out of your mind on whatever pain pills your parents keep in the family pharakopeia: there's a synth beat pulsing in the background, things are mellow, but there's a pervasive sense of irritation somewhere in the background, which will in due time rear its ugly head. Probably when you sober up, come January 2014. Nah I'm just kidding, this is fun music, save it for your next hangover!

Buy the EP for a reasonable 1 dollar, HERE!

Shape Breaker-Eyes Wide CS:
Extended My Bloody Valentine paraphrases, stellar guitar rave-ups, a singer who could very well be the asshole behind BrianJonesTownMassacre: this is Shape Breaker. If you want endless guitar riffs, bratty vocals, and drumming that seemingly never ends, go buy this tape. Good for drinking highly alcoholic red wine to.

Buy the cassette LP here!


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  2. Solid list, thanks for turning me onto Shoplift and getting me to finally give that Deformities single a listen.