TRACK | FEN FEN – Insect

5/5 golden merles

Detroit’s FEN FEN have been building a steady stack solid garage punk singles in this year of our absent lord 2022, intimating a great record is forthcoming. “Insect” has hooks you’ll be required to gnaw your own foot to get free of and a gold plated vocal delivery that seems destined to vomit up in harried yelp and shriek prognostications.

It’s ably and faithfully routing the riffs into a sequence while gently blurring and warping the edges of historical precedent for the genre. Otherwise the bulk is hearty fundamentals flailing in the common era, an addendum to the accursed pleas stretching back a generation; the act of devotedly keeping the nightmare alive.

Detroit is experimenting and deconstructing the form, there’s so much good pouring out of those damn lakes around Chicago and Cleveland. Tremendo Garaje has the video. Name your price on the bandcamp.

TRACK | 208 – Red Cat

5/5 golden merles

“Red Cat” has aggregated all the wasted clipping segments hacked off of more thoroughly manicured garage rock and built a monster of a track/album from them. The momentum built from it pouring from the speakers is a slipstream that makes your escape a little easier. It emulates well a live set at the last concert you ever properly hear.

Self-confessed audiophiles may hear an emaciated range but this is far from it. There is a rich pallet of combustion and deterioration, tonally frayed and saturated. The ideal is in keeping the contours of the collapse in tact, while deriving the implicit energy of its destruction. You can’t properly find the edge without going at least a bit over and it is refreshing to see people working in this territory while maintaining a bridge back to some familiar landmarks.

TRACK | Protomartyr – How He Lived After He Died

5/5 golden merles

With “How He Lived After He Died” we have another finely tuned and balanced appreciation for content and form. Protomartyr have done it enough that at this point it does not appear to be a mistake. There’s clearly premeditation.

The ironically named All passion no technique is yet another (and the original) entry in which Protomartyr manages to properly render human expression in a compelling and expert manner.

“How He Lived After He Died” is another rendition that does justice to their own source material, a debt that always seems to perpetually reemerge with each rendering.

Apparently 21 songs were recorded in four hours and this was one of them. A fact that is at least as frustrating as it is impressive.

Being the 10th track of 17 feels buried, but in a good way. That is a confident placement for something this great.