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.


5/5 golden merles

UK lo-fi punk that “hate(s) music… and will make you also hate music.” The work is offering similar sentiments to Csehak singing, “I don’t want to kill The Killers anymore / … now I know that music itself is wrong.” BRIAN DISEASE are found here raiding a zeitgeist which frankly deserves whatever pillaging and plundering comes its way.

If somewhere in the region of 99% of a medium seems to offer no value to you, to be wallowing in tradition, without invention, built of tropes and cloyingly posturing, what else would the proper response be? “The good” is well within the margin of error, the exception to the rule.

Still, on BRIAN DISEASE, there is provided an example that there remains a bridge out of the thing, the structure is largely intact, approachable and traversable. Here we’re shown that there’s much to be salvaged from the culture, even in profound disillusionment.

In the coursing and the clatter, there’s a resplendent, breathtaking bile here and proof of what can still be extracted from the old genres. There are nourishing guts in it but loose in a slurry, the kind of stuff you reluctantly feed your cat, for now. It can be reconfigured compellingly together and we can subsist upon it. Casettes out on Just Step Sideways Records.

TRACK | EEL MEN – Intro / Ode To Mr Hudson

5/5 golden merles

Garage rock goods from London, EEL MEN’s “Intro / Ode To Mr Hudson” is the very best track about a stolen credit card you’ll hear this week. The guitars radiate stunning, excess tones and the drums sculpt the structure. Everything metered and scaling, solidly worked into a nice, smiting tune.

The narrative scope and melodic shifts are perfected for the genre, it seems clearly made by folks living and breathing the medium. Thriving in the carport habitat, it’s clear across the altogether effective set and the record a joy to sift through. £3 for the digital files or £5 tapes out through London’s Just Step Sideways Records.

TRACK | Akusmi – Divine Moments of Truth

5/5 golden merles

An inspired enmeshing of momentum, electronica curtailed to contain only the essential. Of a stunningly metered jazz/experimental set, “Divine Moments of Truth” stands out to me as a pinnacle of those forms.

The relative minimalism of what transpires builds into a great escape, evenly, cleanly out of its abstraction. It feels as though there is something at stake and yet remains “as simple as possible but not one bit simpler,” the energy is convincingly condensed in such a way as to warp your perception of relative space time. A credible spell, intuitively assembled, or the result of finely tuned music theory, I don’t know. But the kind of wonder and admiration I feel for its accumulated reserves is like the saying that any technology produced by a significantly advanced civilizations is indistinguishable from magic.

Arriving last week into the world, there’s ~30 clear vinyl remaining from a set of 300. Not a bad return on anything in the common era, much less a finely rendered crop of electronic jazz concoctions.

TRACK | TV Priest – Lifesize

5/5 golden merles

Beneath the bluster and bruised flesh it has a great heart to the thing. The drilling of those two synths into the skull, it’s something to be admired. There’s a clarity to the production that works its way into the gray matter without destroying anything essential in the process. A good balance to strike.

This is in the vein of Christian Fitness, Protomartyr, Idles, and Ought, if you like that kind; all the revelry of an adjunct professor shouting at you, and about a subject they don’t specialize in, and for your own good. At least they seem to think so. It’s nice in small doses, for a few years at a time, maybe there’s an accreditation granted at the end of it all.

It’s a vengeance pastiche, the elaborately fractured usage of language as a cudgel to get at something deeper than our collective descent. It’s an attempt to get ahead of the thing. Purposefully disoriented and in synopsis, it’s a poem. The language is essential and central and the language is sturdy. I don’t know how it holds up in a decade but I recognize its assessment of this brazen, dilapidated zeitgeist.

66 degrees and a haze today, and Subpop has delivered something I admire. Haven’t gotten to the ’22 full length, but excited to spend a minute with it.

TRACK | Stereolab – John Cage Bubblegum

5/5 golden merles

I found “John Cage Bubblegum” through Carolyn Hawkins’ (School Damage, Parsnip, Chook Race) Sight of Sound Society Radio Mixcloud feature. It appears on the remastered Stereolab singles and rarities collection Refried Ectoplasm Vol. 2, first issued in 1995 and collected/reissued in 2018.

Drenched in reverb and surrounded, it leans heavily on a few formidable vocal melodies. There are a handful of phrases, breathlessly repeated in French, It’s the most beautiful / and it’s the saddest / it’s the most beautiful / landscape in the world.

As at least partially confirmed by the experimental composure and artist’s name in the title, there is an unreviewed post from claiming the track is made in reference to one of Cage’s most famous pieces, 4’33”. In this piece a performer intentionally plays nothing, allowing the audience/ambient noise to become the song.

True or not, there is a fun dialog in the play between these two ideas: lo-fi and no-fi. One is the direct embrace of the erstwhile void and the absence of all else other than that which is usually considered undesirable or an extraneous defect. The other a form that balances leaning into a celebration of melody and tone but also in a lo-fi, human manner, incorporating the place and performers, containing breaths between phrasing and elements of performance that likewise embrace these, to some, imperfections.

The former is the absolute extreme of this idea, but for my tastes, the latter, in contrast to the dehumanized/decontextualized refinement of the last few decades of modern pop, is not too dissimilar either.

TRACK | Magic Potion – Deep Web

5/5 golden merles

From 2015’s Melt EP, “Deep Web” is composed of alt-pop and lo-fi form, all crust and quiet conviction. Effortlessly injected through the sluice of any standard issue headphones, the tremolo and echo phase about in their own time, kindly warping by its recollecting whatever it reverberates around.

After the Geiger counter count us off, the track is calmly plodding and delicately estranged. Without ornamentation it’s baldness quickly assuages any initial threat of alienation and welcomes you into this amicably mangled realm.

Sold out on the Bandcamp beyond the infinitely affordable digital form, the Beech Coma cassette tape can still be found on Discogs.

TRACK | The Rebel – I Found You Amongst the Roses

5/5 golden merles

I Found You Amongst The Roses is, wonderfully, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The traditional folk form, bounding, plodding forward, with the simple electronic drum pattern, and the calming melody: it is all cover for what is coming.

The usual line and truism about a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down is applicable. There is here a valuable expanding of what is agreeable within the window of initial expectations.

When the Prince lyrics enter, the subtle warping becomes stark. The track deconstructs itself, the tempo distends, ultimately ending in field recordings and samples that bring further context to the unease.

But it all works so well that those drawn in through tradition leave with a greater appreciation for experimentation, their conceptions of ‘good’ ever so slightly extended. And that is a valuable endeavor.

TRACK | Dana Gavanski – Catch

5/5 golden merles

Sometimes the world can be pushed forward a millimeter at a time and other times a yard. And it is not always possible to tell which we are engaged in while the action is taken or underway. Further, we are lucky if at any given moment we are able to tell which direction is forward.

But at least in this instance it is clear to me that this is a fine and good gesture toward something worthwhile.

And, similarly, it is both necessary and good to proceed in a manner which leaves a bridge for those we’ve left behind.

Gavanski’s “Yesterday is Gone” contains a lot of bridges forward. Catch, One by One, and Good Instead of Bad all have featured on a variety of mixes, and I am very much also looking forward to her output [[[going forward]]].

TRACK | The Worms – Quality Time

5/5 golden merles

I have so many tabs open… I have not yet gotten to The Worms 2020 release Back to the Bog. But I did enjoy the holy hell out of 2016’s Everything in Order. So it would be no surprise if there are gems in there as well.

There is great buoyancy within this fuzz, and an elastic reverberation of muscle and meat. It is music made by humans and more or less for them. That is a compliment of the highest order, as I am also a man, of sorts, and prefer this type of music.

If you too make music for humans there might also be 5 Golden Merles in it for you. This is incentivization. This is priming the pump of the indifferent universe. I am accessorizing the void.