Almost every waking moment of my life, I’m consumed by music. I’m either listening to music, making it or searching out new things I’ve never heard. I go to bed around 2am and wake up at 5:30am because I thought of a record I wanted to hear – to say I’m obsessive may be an understatement. THE CONEHEADS, L.O.T.I.O.N., DAWN OF HUMANS and HALDOL LPs, Concealed Blade‘s demo and BLANK SPELL‘s EP are high on my list of most listened to records of the year, but, as I have already written about each of them at great length, I am going to focus on some other more than stellar releases I also cannot stop listening to.
BUGG – Demo (Cassette)
I saw this band in a basement in their native Bloomington, Indiana, and immediately knew I would be jamming their songs on a loop for some time. The fervidly fuzzed-out vocals remind me of working til 2 in the morning, getting drunk by myself and listening to My Bloody Valentine on headphones. When the jangly guitar decides to attack, it sounds like he is about to break all of the strings off the instrument, and this reassures me that not all new indie music sucks. The production is perfect, but beyond that, the songs really speak for themselves. Hope to see this band tour, start experimenting with drugs, enter a middle eastern instrument phase, return to their roots and then release a killer LP.
RUBBER MATE – Hell Bent for Rubber (Cassette)
Every time I see Richard, who plays drums in Rubber Mate and runs Sauce Pan Records out of Cleveland, he is putting out another incredible record or demo. This, however, is my favorite release he has done to date. Absolutely obnoxious noise that is beyond unhinged live. It’s hard to pin down exactly what brings me back to this over and over again. It’s like the bass and drums are driving the machine while the guitarists are gutting the inside of the vehicle and throwing it out the window while the singer is teen-wolfing the van, shooting a revolver indiscriminately and screaming about nothing. Also, the singer is wearing yellow gloves. How are you not listening to this already? Clevo rules number 1.
URANIUM CLUB – Human Exploration (LP)
The human race has pillaged and destroyed everything it has come across since the beginning of time. We’ve completely ruined countless civilizations and the Earth itself, and all for what? If the point of our menial existence was to come to a point where we could create what is loosely defined as “rock music,” I’m more than comfortable with that. I cannot stop listening to this record, ask anyone I work with. I’ll sometimes make them listen to it twice in a row it’s so good. A refreshing sound in the “punk” idiom, these Minneapolis boys appear to have come out of nowhere and dropped what might be the hottest LP of the year. Angular guitars and plenty of great counter melodies, as well as some A+ vocal deliveries, got me down on my knees, ready for whatever else they will dish out. “Sun Belt” is definitely a song that I will be putting on every mixtape for the next 2.47 years.
FUK BOIZ – Demo (Cassette)
I thought I was sick of chains and spikes punk and anything pogo in general – until I fell in love with this demo. I sometimes think about moving somewhere that isn’t Pittsburgh, especially when I see thriving music scenes everywhere I go, but am reminded why I love this place when I see a band like Fuk Boiz. Punk isn’t always about reinventing the wheel, and they seem to be quite aware of that, their songs are energetic and to the point but don’t sacrifice actual songwriting, which is something that is apparently easily lost in this internet-driven punk world we have found ourselves in. Laura’s vocals are just on the brink of being annoying, which is one of my favorite characteristics as far as singers are concerned. The guitar sounds more like Discharge than street punk, but not overly metallic like most d-beat worshipers, and doesn’t leave any song without a hook. Thank you Fuk Boiz for helping me not lose my faith in punk, Jah bless.
C.C.T.V. – C.C.T.V. (EP)
This is a pleasant little record [Insert Devo Comparison]. I like how minimal the drums are in the production of this number, though at times it can be stiff. The bass has a bop that is catchy as the lead guitar, which follow each other very closely except for choice moments when melody calls for them to split and shine. I’m not sure exactly what effect is on the vocals on “Anxiety” but I cannot stop listening to it, it was a good decision to replace sleep with listening to this record 17 times in a row. These songs are beyond catchy – I can only hope that this band gets the same treatment as The Coneheads and they release a slew of EPs and live recordings in quick succession, so I don’t have to pretend to be patient. The synth line in “Paranoia” makes me wish I had gone to school for interpretive dance or animation so I could visually express my admiration for it both through my art and my monetary (and emotional) debt. Luckily for me, I slept on this record and the first 2 pressings are both sold out.
EEL – S/T (EP)
I have probably seen EEL live more than any other living person. I’m not sure if I would categorize it as a positive or negative thing, as most shows run together to begin with, and when it is the same band over and over the problem starts to amplify. That being said, the first time I heard “Fuck Off Human Insect,” I knew whatever record that it was going to land on was going to be my favorite of theirs. It sounds like GISM’s Detestation and Military Affairs Neurotic albums had a mutant child and it was born with a demented 56k modem for a mouth. This record destroys any preconceived notions of simple debauchery their live show and grinder extravaganza had established, and forces you to realize this is not a gimmick band – they actually write good songs. It starts off strong with “Fuck Off Human Insect,” and after crunching through an inordinate amount of discordant noises, the slab ends with a DISORDER cover. Easily the group’s best work to date. Another fine piece from Beach Impediment records.