Saturday, October 4, 2014
If We Bury You Ass-Up I'll Have A Place To Park My Bike
THE YOUNG "CHROME COASTER" CD (MATADOR)
I tend to be wary whenever some indie band starts getting heralded as "The Return of Real Rock", since it starts giving me visions of The Cult's "Sonic Temple" updated with modern production values. That's not quite the level that "Chrome Cactus" is aiming for -- The Young are still well inside the boundaries of Bruno-rock, which is the Double-A minor leagues as opposed to the state-fairs-and-casinos circuit that Merchandise will be moving towards shortly -- although "Cry of Tin" does have cowbell in it, so you can never be too careful. This is still a decent album (much better than "Tim", at least, which it probably owes a reasonable amount of debt to), even if after a couple of weeks of listening to it I was down to about three tracks that I actually liked.
This is a pretty muscular rock record that's bound to draw comparisons to Jesus Lizard, even if Yes I'm Leaving's approach is a lot more straight-forward than that, i.e. there's no real sense that the guy singing is going to drop his pants or anything. I tried to imagine this as sounding like a Bastro record, since it's got some of the over-the-top-ness of "Diablo Guapo" for instance (loud drums, heavy bass), but the lack of any tangible math-rock shiftiness torpedoed that theory, too. Actually most of this sounds like an Australian version of a less-political Killing Joke, which probably doesn't sound all that exciting; I mean, it's not like there's a ton of Killing Joke revivalists roaming around out there, at least in my neck of the woods (besides, didn't Metallica pretend to like Killing Joke for a while? christ). And so while I'm not sure if anyone is even asking for an Australian version of a less-political Killing Joke, there's one available for when someone eventually does.
XETAS "THE SILENCE"/"THE KNIFE" 7" (12XU)
I've never thought of 12XU as a thrash label (tangent: how did all those '80s Youth Crew bands miss the point that Minor Threat covered freakin' WIRE? Most of those Revelation-style bands didn't think beyond anything more experimental than the unreleased Justice League album), but the a-side to this sounds like it could've been lifted straight from one of those Double Negative "Hardcore Confusion" seven-inches, and I'm not even slightly joking -- the guitar sound is that beefy. "The Knife" is great, too, dropping-in some pop-punk hooks almost like a Teenage Bottlerocket record or something. I'm probably making this sound like it's some awful garbage, but it's not, it's actually pretty fuckin' awesome.
THE UKIAH DRAG "IN THE REAPER'S QUARTERS" LP (WHARF CAT)
I'm psyched as hell for the Cottaging 12" that's coming out on Wharf Cat any day now, but this Ukiah Drag outfit -- which is practically the same band as Cottaging, meaning most the same guys, just on different instruments -- isn't doing shit for me. Kinda weird, kinda spaced-out rock stuff, some of this sounds like a guy sat down in the studio to work on a few things and by mistake they put it on a record. If you took the best parts (like most of "Final Prayer") and threw John Brannon's voice onto them they'd sound almost exactly like Laughing Hyenas, but even that isn't all that great. I saw them live once, and I was equally puzzled.
For a while now I've been making the case that The Gotobeds are sorta like Obits and Tyvek mixed together, but then the other day I went back and listened to some This Moment In Black History stuff that's been on my computer ("Cleveland Finger" I think) and thought, "a-ha! maybe that's a better comparison!", but really none of it is, The Gotobeds are too clever for that. As a test I flipped through all of the tracks here, one after another really fast, to check if any of them sounded alike to each other and darned if none of 'em do. Same sounding voice and drums and guitar, obviously, but like Kick Boy Face said, "there's no style", it doesn't sound like The Gotobeds are intentionally trying to sound like any particular anyone else, and if that doesn't seem all that remarkable to you then I've got a whole bunch of really shitty Soundcloud promo links for you to check out. No doubt "Poor People Are Revolting" is one of The Rock Records of 2014, the kind that everyone with a medium-sized vinyl collection will probably own (my own collection's pretty small, someday I'll get around to working on it), but don't take my word for it, there's that guy who compares every band like this to Pavement and Parquet Courts, for instance.