TRACK | Dumb Idea – Piece By Piece

5/5 golden merles

The Freakin’ Split is two great sets of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, hardcore/punk in which each track burns brightly if briefly into existence. The cast amends and shuffles midway throughout but everything seems to share a common vision. Of course I latch onto maybe the most accessible segment and gesture toward the proverbial pasture: “Piece by Piece,” the rampant closer in which late on the tempo shifts and hints at what is to come, some further prospects of recourse to take when navigating a culture that is combusting all around us.

If you’re feeling some resonance with it after 10 seconds, the whole set comes as a great relief. I may prefer Side A overall, but this is my favorite individual track. All across the runtime the form and function operate on the terms of the genre, but bigger, distinctly so, starkly within their own individuated/inventive modes of conduct, if you’re familiar enough to appreciate the terms. There’s tons of capable nuance in the alternating, impaled drum and octave scaling guitar; every modestly elongated track is rich in careful detail that is then smashed in celebration right in front of you.

If that is your idea of fun then probably you should buy the digital album from Earth Girl Tapes, name your price on the bandcamp.

TRACK | Flop Machine – U.R.A.4.

5/5 golden merles

Machine Beat Rock And Roll is a fleshed out record from the collected set of singles by Flop Machine (Norway), out now on the grotesquely strong roster of reels at Dial Club (Japan). “U.R.A.4.” is synth fueled eggpunk, some craven melodies purged of pretense. Warm plateaus of waveform riding the digidrum rails, a motet raging and decrying, “work your fingers to the bone / paying off your student loan.”

Its production has a great grip, nascent pliers on the nerve. The compressors range has a full punch packaged, breaking the thumb for good measure. The soft tear at vocal peak, looping back and disseminating like fog into the anthemic instrumental accompaniment, is a thing to be admired. It’s a bouquet of firecrackers and wet cement, everything wrapped up in a nice little package.

The tape is ¥800 JPY (that’s $5.62 USD, plus $5.27 shipping for United States), or single use tracks for NOK 7 (0.67 cents). Everything apparently done in the name of love and at a loss.

TRACK | Leoni Leoni – If there is Magic it is made in your Womb

5/5 golden merles

Starry and skeletal with a rich contemplative warp, “If there is Magic it is made in your Womb” is a strain of diy lo-fi ambient synth-pop. Neither orthogonal nor evil, the price of the piercing is being held together around the hole after. There are concerns expressed and they are catchy, lots to empathize with in speculative and instructive the utterances.

There is a command not to misunderstand. Winter crumbles away, summer is a stain left from dust; the only constant is change. The percussive instrumentation is in a sort of sequence within the sickly gunk of time, by which we are affixed to this or any given era. The rhythm is the minimal rate by which we must claw through it to get anywhere at a respectable pace, or before it’s too late.

Anyway, it’s skirting the edges of eternity. Anyway, seen from above it resembles a gulch filled with jello and paved over, gauged and assuaged. There is vinyl available from Les Disques Bongo Joe in Geneva, black for €18 & white for €20.

TRACK | CRASH THE SUPERYACHT – Sitting on the stairs

5/5 golden merles

Timeless lo-fi bedroom punk sounds from CRASH THE SUPERYACHT, maybe avoid this one if you’ve made a happy habit of spurning the uncommonly good or fixating on the dawning of doomsday. There’s a rich vein of diy charm and pop cunning to the set. I put to the forefront the closer, “Sitting on the stairs,” fortified with hooks and familiar tone, easily believably extracted from an indie 80s alt history timeline.

Wading through the windows, you’re first met with those resonant sentiments about part-time pals, the ones you can always sync up with, wavelengths and bullshit tolerances amenably aligned no matter the interim eons. I’ve never seen EastEnders or any soap opera outside of by accident and in a laundromat. But if it inspires this quality of rock-ooze, let them rip. Similarly bring on lockdown 4 or 5 or whatever, let’s recreate these ideal conditions and spawn another tape: £3GBP for digital files or £7 for the cassette + zine.

TRACK | TJ Cabot – SD Action (Revisited)

5/5 golden merles

TJ Cabot’s “SD Action” (Revisited) is Canadian DIY punk at its finest. Frying and frayed vocals push the needle into the good kind of overloading, while drums rattle in time like the gavel of a mad judge.

Is there anything left other than SD/spite driven action at this point? How else to summon the energy to awaken each morning, much less go about vanquishing your eternal enemies?

I found this track on tr0tsky’s punk and rock Mixcloud series “Pretend You Like It.Ogle it for more fine scouting &/or commiserate in our collective, aimless anguish by buying the EP for $4 CAD.

TRACK | Jacob Beck – Norwegia

5/5 golden merles

Jacob Beck’s “Norwegia” includes a rich and immense pallet of lo-fi tones. The grit of these tones is derived from but are not limited to: sand, ash, swarf and sediment. Lacking proper facilities, I don’t know what else it’s cut with. But the landscape painted by this constitution feels truly immense, originating only from a modest handful of well-textured elements.

Sun and surf drenched vocals couple with rattling instrumentation, alchemically sprouting complimentary crystalline percussive structures. It is a neatly crafted and coarse set of molecules.

Everything wraps and warps in the subsequent reverberations, disintegrating almost as quickly as it was formed. Gliding and careening, all coherent pop forms are quickly and agreeably broken into smithereens, the detritus of which produce a fine metallic mist. After a brisk 2 minutes and 46 seconds, should everything go to plan, the form evaporates before your very eyes.

With lead guitar-strings like filament for refracted light, load up the track with your woes rattling around your head and shortly thereafter you’ll have them promptly sorted; less by way of a wash and more a sort of grind and polish. Well forged, “Norwegia” is a real fine track that brings Beck’s First Collection to a close.

TRACK | Real Numbers – Only Two Can Play

5/5 golden merles

Find a way / to get away

With a tambourine of broken glass and a guitar hook like a beacon of light, we are graciously called to appreciate this post-punk pop tune. Reverb, cooing backing vocals, a moderately dread-filled recollection: nothing not to like.

Master rang / be back today
Busy yourself or be put on the shelf

There is a kind of artificial simplicity and directness involved in the testament, casual in its conveyances.

But it playfully strikes at the core of ones existence with its fidelity to the archival fermenting, the building and/or glacial erosion of the heart.

It is a catalog of the repetitions as opposed to the punctuations and the extremities, those are the aberrations. Logged here are the days in between that more accurately represent the whole.