TRACK | Useless Eaters – Dungeon

5/5 golden merles

Regularly featuring on many The Net In The Sea mixes over the last decade, Useless Eaters are punk-noise rock royalty… that is if royalty status was established through a grinding and perpetual merit and not merely hereditary nonsense. They rip through the verses like a hungover langolier might, mighty and amorphous, eagerly resolved to annihilate.

The track is spatially aware of the soundscape in a manner that is rarely realized in the genre, a volley of cannon instead of one. In the thrashing it saliently utilizing the stereo mix amidst the core cacophony of other center-lane and assertive lo-fi attributes. It feels dynamic and so it is.

Kindly reminding me of this excellent track was featuring BLNDI with their also superb cover off a recent couple of demos. It recoups well the spirit and introduces its own invention amidst the translation. The original digital is €9.99 or the vinyl is listed for a few dollars more.

TRACK | Needle Exchange – Shut Up, Shut Down

5/5 golden merles

Berlin-based punk with melodic surf and garage elements, “Shut Up, Shut Down” pounds about, nimbly refractive, mutinous. The residual discontent is ingrained in the sturdy melody, collecting like soot between the abbreviated rotary of the verses.

Having grown accustomed through regular exposure to either the empty vessel or diatribes devoid of style, for my tastes the balance of muck/bile to harmonious refinement is well weighted.

I have been assuming the title has a reference to Nowak’s 2004 book and poetry collection of the same name concerning corporate greed. If that’s wrong I’ll gladly correct and update it with some other half formed idea. Some used versions of the vinyl run are scattered about Europe.

TRACK | Druggy Pizza – Like Pigs In A Slot

5/5 golden merles

Featuring members of Dusty Mush, Cédric Bottacchi/Druggy Pizza’s “Like Pigs In A Slot” convenes the crunching and crushing of waves in a not dissimilar manner. Unrest and deliberate deconstruction, it’s surf rock on a sea of molten gloom and Midas detritus.

The blistering, proximal bass synth continues grinding in perpetuity, as the focus shifts from the background grind to the central figures portrait, breaking the established mold a few times in a matter of minutes. The whole EP/split’s worth spending some time with.

If you, like me, hold its contortions in high esteem, look also into the 2020 set and checkout the handful of vinyl from the Peace And Love Barbershop Muhammad Ali split.

TRACK | Aldous Harding – Beast

5/5 golden merles

“Beast” is a prized prophesy of a track from Harding, lightly picked, all mysticism, scattershot and scorched earth. The slow accumulate crushing is combined with an intricate immediacy of language, using intrigue of veiled prescience to keep your attention. It contains one of my favorite lines of any era:

Why breed a boy for his meat /
To teach the child cruel rituals of ruin to repeat?

My greatest affection is for the early Aldous Hardling project output, like Beast here and the early live Horizon performances, although it remains inventive and interesting in all guises. The language hits on something larger, older, something like in Epic of Gilgamesh:

The gods smelled the savor, the gods smelled the sweet savor, and collected like flies over the sacrifice

There are mechanics properly employed, like preying on our propensity for favoring the augural. But in a fun way that respects the audience enough, doesn’t get lost believing its own lies, material made of savoring the act without taking itself too seriously at the same time. There’s a world tour going on right now if you’re interested.

TRACK | Wand – Flying Golem

5/5 golden merles

Psychedelic rock from LA, “Flying Golem” convincingly summons something strange and special from the inanimate. The instrumentation approximates something graceful, aloft and massive. Driving melodic guitars grind and latch to the steadfast percussion, synths delicately sprout from the structure.

I have very limited patience for guitar solos in general but this one is adequately shattering and incorporates the discordant with deliberate experimentation. Through its winding and dissolution it manages to say something new and complimentary within the context of the demolition.

Sadly the bandcamp has one selectively available track, so the YouTube link won’t show up in the hype machine. But also check out the beautiful video on youtube directed and animated by Meghan Tryon & Garrett M Davis. $9 for the digital, abridged in its preview. The vinyl’s relatively rare but can be located for the right price.


5/5 golden merles

The introduction and embrace of imperfections in the recording mirrors the chaos in our midst, the ever-present unknown. And this represents cumulatively less kitsch than if it were refined or faithfully and tediously extracted.

This inclusion or allowance of these attributes is a means of conveying that discordance (via distortion, in echo, etc, however reverberating), it approximates these symbolic and the metaphorical misgivings. It is the appropriate representation of factoring in uncertainty into your model, of both your collected perceptions and their conveying through representation in auditory art. And with this admission present upfront —the prospect of erring around the margins, the looming suspicions, the muck and mire— the intention of the work becomes more honest and true, its testaments more convincing.

“Bloody” is a marginally mangled lo-fi clinic on how melody can successfully conspire with tempo under these carefully crafted circumstances. The oscillations swing between movements, flagging and then forceful, hesitant and emboldened. The doubt grounds the professing in a world that resembles our own.

It stands in contrast to corporate refinement. That which has the power and engine to polish style down to bone and yet with all its menacing, perfected honing comes away saying nothing at all. Maybe, largely, because if it had anything of value to add it would promptly undermine the unjust hierarchies that lead to its ascendance?

I don’t know. I like this song, I think it’s fun and has good style. Now people can easily approximate either interpretation in their bedroom — the bile and barrage of the single mic garage or recordings from a pristine sound-proofed void— for now wrapped in the symbols of the past, sand always shifting beneath us. These things won’t mean the same thing to people later. But it is made by people from relatively now and for people from relatively now and in my present subjective opinion it is very good.

TRACK | Honey Radar – Scorpions Bought Me Breakfast

5/5 golden merles

“Scorpions Bought Me Breakfast” is a rich and winding series of simple melodies, woven into a shelter, the bringing together of scraps providing a place to return to. Like almost anything good and well thought of after, at a minute in length it is almost over before it’s begun.

The rasp of a drum clacks like the sound made by the spokes on the moon lander, or the rattle of the ice machine at the in-house café of Cape Canaveral. The bass is the alternate shadow realm variation of the surface dwelling dueling melody provided by the staggered vocal and lead guitar.

I am a firm proponent of the “start small and build things of significance” model of songwriting and this is a prime example. It is drenched in style and feels like a semi-conscious novella, a dream derived from the nap.

TRACK | The Strungs – Nothing is Possible

5/5 golden merles

The Strung’s “Nothing is Possible” is 85 seconds worth of a burning and cavernous sort of lo-fi pop rock. The molten emission of the primary vocal hook progress alongside a frenetic contrast of complimentary and clashing guitar tones, a late lead solo slung over the terminus, incised and gashing.

Abruptly the spell is cast and spent. Most songwriters would likely stretch and repeat a melody of this caliber well beyond its breaking point, plodding into the reaches of multiple unseemly minutes. But here, instead, the work is honed properly into a well tempered unit worthy of some small worship.

“Nothing is Possible” was forged in 2014. But more recently Totally Understandable was released, if you would like a fresher set of tracks extracted from the alluvium, processed, and worthy of praise.

TRACK | Filthy Huns – Fake Ass Muthas

5/5 golden merles

In quick summation: From LA, released on the indomitable Not Not Fun, two albums removed from the common era.

“Fake Ass Muthas” is likely the first and last eight and a half minute track posted to this platform, so don’t get any ideas you epic/jam band freaks. But also take note, this is how you collapse time into a malleable unit.

Wonderous and empirically strange, the pacing and texture of this instance is something to hold up as an idol. Some kind of masterclass (…if that phrasing wasn’t recently besmirched by capital). But that isn’t without its risk. Just because it can be admired doesn’t mean it can be replicated or the right lessons learned or applied.

How does the orbit not collapse or dull around that digi drum over the prolonged runtime? How is anything ever in a stable state or find a form of homeostasis? It is an adaptive system which draws on ample resources and manages to remain inventive despite the glut.

The track always manages to tire of itself moments before the listener might and appropriately reinvent or contort the structure. One melody is relieved of duty and a well-textured instrument is replaced by a complimentary but stark alternate. Sounds simple. Isn’t.

TRACK | Aloha Units – Mate’s Machine

5/5 golden merles

From Sydney at some point in the last decade, Aloha Units “Mates Machine” is off a 4 track tape of the same name. It is post-punk/diy/lo-fi, and a bit of all the things that are nice according to my subjective yammering and murmuring.

It would be hard to find a better example of a phrase I use as a mantra for both the making and assessing: control achieved through a willing proximity to its loss. Guitars scritch in heaping variables of concerted noise and two drum lanes pace the undertone. The squashy sprawl of the track is composed of a gentle thundering.

If you’re acclimated or accustomed to it, there’s a great deal of nuance to the edifice and its architectonics. It’s one a hell of a Hans Sprungfeld of a tune. And what I want to say, what I’m telling you now, is that Jebediah is really great.

In the petty amount of google searching I did for this post I was very excited to find Finley’s more recent work in anti-folk form as VIPP and, alternatively, synthwave focused with Sex Tourists. And really look forward to diving in when there is a moment to breath or look.