TRACK | Liquids – My Best Friend (Stab Me In The Back Again)

5/5 golden merles

NW Indiana’s Liquids have returned with more proto garage feelings nailed onto the egg punk skeleton. Songs is more raw and seeping, less refined in production than Life is Pain Idiot. The rate at which these things degrade is variable. Less a crack in the foundation of the prior effort and more a rebuilding upon the rubble of the pile of limited releases. Half digested or about three quarters gestated, anyway, viable, and better out than in. New: now with more new.

There’s plenty of melodic invention within the parameters of the genres sterling decrepitude. And the murk it’s packed with keeps things fresh upon repeat listens. With respect to production, everything’s overheard through a wall in the next room. But there’s some preservative properties in the goo emitting from the gears into the end product; it leaves plenty of room for magic and misinterpretation.

The ‘punk’s dead’ discourse is a trope and the trope itself must die. Surely the answer is something akin to the perpetual cycle of rebirth and death much like the organisms that make it: Emerge, decline and diminish. Symbols corrupt and the language adjusts, later the symbols are replaced by something that better gets at the feeling while the old symbol rots back into the earth. There is a natural discordance of definitions in this process. Temporary end or intermittent beginning, either way it’s nice to have the document.

TRACK | Wren Kitz – Hexed

5/5 golden merles

A deliberate and ravaging album of many intricacies and plenty of codas, Early Worm by Wren Kitz is a real fine set of musical numbers. Promptly following the raw and expansive “Georgie,” the gentlest entry point comes through “Hexed,” a song about crying moons and the digging of bones.

The track is considered and palpable psych-folk and rock. It describes a kind of anti-heroes journey or an escape from ones self in the service of traversing an emotional landscape. The problems are bound to proximity, figuratively or literally — I don’t know. But born of an immediacy that can be at least differed and approached later from another angle or as another person, weathering the hex or inverting the curse.

It is a glinting and extensive track and album, with much fine detailing and world building. It should be a little or a lot more celebrated. And further evidence of the good drawing to it the good, there’s cover artwork by Dylan Jones, who’s also done some for Woolen Men.

TRACK | Liquids – Dont Wanna Get to Know You

5/5 golden merles

Solo project of Mat Williams of Indiana, Liquids’ Life is Pain Idiot is beaming, howling punk rock. Too many tracks to feature appropriately, so featuring the first I heard. The album end-to-end holds consistently and admirably steady delivering a series of lean and singed tracks.

That it’s a largely solo effort is truly impressive, no sense of motion or desire is lost in the administered layering. The vocal performance is appropriately clutching and cracking, landing as though live, buzzing over the vehement instrumentation. The vision is readily apparent and highly realized.

Discogs chatter claims a vinyl is in the works, hopefully this is the case. Until then it’s $5 on the digital platform all listening would take place on anyway.

TRACK | The Cowboys – After Sunset

5/5 golden merles

Bloomington Indiana’s masters of tone were on their A game for this one. “After Sunset” is a cultured rumination on the merits of the night, its highs (the moon) and lows (everything else).

There are many convincing details in these numerous doubts, many cleanly laid out facts that act as foundation for the anecdote: …lawn darts, losing one’s self, the casual alienation. It feels like any given evening. And it has plenty of nuance that humanize the narrator and almost makes you believe it was written by a person, a rounded character, bounding about the same damned earth that you inhabit.

I am made of fire today / and I’m trying to think of things to say to you / after sunset

For me, volume 3 and 4 were the sweet spot for these refined midwestern ghouls. But there are many years to come, probably, and perhaps the dreary flagging of their early efforts will return when the polish of clons/flowers wears, burns, or melts off a bit, whatever the case may be.

I haven’t listened to Lovers in Marble yet. I’m too far behind. If everyone could just agree on a truce for 4-5 years, a nice détente, I’ll catch up on these releases.

TRACK | The Cowboys – Hands of Love (Around My Throat)

5/5 golden merles

As I write this there we’re just shy of half a million confirmed daily cases of the virus known as “Covid-19.” Yes, that was technically several days ago, maybe that number has subsided or doubled by now, easily either. This Blog is prepared beforehand though it doesn’t seem like it.

Point is, given the holiday, that’s a lot of loving hands around a lot of throats.

To make this review more about me, I’ve started to collect low-dollar records that I love/find online. Trying to buy them directly from the artist or label is the way to go, 100%.

But sometimes you miss a release by a hundred or so years and everyone related to it are dead. In this case, you must go to discogs and pay several pennies to have your media mail chucked into the holiday delivery truck and driven across the plague ravaged nation to your door.

The Cowboys are from Bloomington, IN, the home of both midwestern crap rock and my alma mater. Hands of Love, Take me back, Prized Pig, Negativity Scene, Like a Man, Say Hello to the Sun (For Me)… there’s no shortage of quality here. It’s easily one of the best records of whatever year it came out, 2017 I guess.

TRACK | Hair Peace – Summertime

5/5 golden merles

In the bleak mid-winter, let’s dwell on sunnier times discussed and celebrated in Hair Peace’s Summertime, as featured on their 2014 Summer EP. It has a melody like radioactive molasses. It compels you to have faith in the youths. It reminds you that verses and choruses can coexist in peace, hair peace.

That I am the only individual who has purchased this item (from the Bandcamp page, at least), is a kind of crime against humanity. Some CDs were apparently available at Bloomington, IN’s, wonderful Landlocked music, where I spent a good deal of student loan money at their various locations one hundred years ago.

It was Schopenhauer who said “Man can do what he wants but not want what he wants.” OK, But you should want this EP. It’s good. Contract it today.