TRACK | Decomisos La Toledana – Deprisa, Deprisa

5/5 golden merles

Madrid lo-fi burning with the light, gently obscured but unquestionably recognizable. The track is transcending time through the amalgamated fuel of rock influence and intentional media consumption. And in converting this into a new unit, its value is immediately apparent. The entire demo set has that character, driving at something greater than the genre but utilizing it as a medium for the purposes of conveying. That is hopefully what you want from all art: taking what is at hand and what has resonated, and then tuning it to your own frequency. It does this.

The engine is guitar tone, a viscus echo bleeding off the lead vocal melody, and some tight and direct drumming. It’s familiarity and form that can feel frontloaded with nostalgia, as though it is a unit of articulation convenient to assign a period of your own life, characteristics that are endearing and worthy of application. You could have had it then, but you didn’t, now you do. That is the joy of the thing; another lovely arc of the echo as it emits, another good ring charted around the base, some momentum to keep moving at all or in sync to, a record of our dendrochronology.

Found through Groschi’s tireless searching, part of a four piece mix that will work perfectly as an antidote to all the Christmas playlists you will likely subjected to.

TRACK | Busted Head Racket – Wouldn’t you like 2 Know

5/5 golden merles

Bedroom lo-fi synth pop from Australia, the release from Idiotape Records (Paris) contains two ounces worth of delightful and difficult to kill earworms. The refinement is pronounced and very much appreciated: layers phasing and melodies shifting in precise sequence, the variance in lyric keeping us sated in the recurrent loops.

There’s great detailing in the margins, like the delicate death rattle production on the vocal lanes or the tinny-washed out drums that splash late on in the dying embers. It has great density to it but the appearance of pure candy and handles like a cartoon mallet: swiftly, against the odds, pleasantly gruesome.

The track features the dogged honing of hooks as previously manifested by so many of our senescent idols, by that I mean maybe it has some golden era le tigre feelings about it, maybe a touch of Metric, or of times new viking; things I like and you likely liked too.

The cost is €2 on the bandcamp for the files or €5 for the tape before shipping. See what you can do.

TRACK | Cherry Cheeks – UFO

5/5 golden merles

“UFO” is unrepentant lo-fi synth punk, newly released Cherry Cheeks, the 1st in track on the Cherry Radio EP. Each track is subsequently fanning these early flames. Hallowed modulations and percussive rhythm guitar snap over harmonic backing screech, the indulgences collude with and sustain one another. It’s good, I think; really good. But its long-term effects have yet to be determined.

All that texture is prefaced on the metaphorical hooks which multiply rapidly and indefinitely here. Lots of these to relish on repeat exposures, these bits that immediately conspire to occupy your attention and root in the sensory and short term memory like a beachhead for the broader absorption. I’ve had the self-titled on Total Punk Records open in the forest of Firefox tabs for over a year and now it is demanded by this qualitative excellence I go back and find it.

This EP is released by Under The Gun Records, sorta/it was gone real quick and they’re working at building something bigger than a digital swarm. You can hear it there but the vinyl’s sold out and there’s no discogs page yet so just go wander about outside until you stumble across it.

TRACK | Egg Idiot – Meltdown

5/5 golden merles

Leipzig eggpunk with the uncanny ability to channel estrangement into melodic rupture. Egg Idiot’s Help ! is hyperactive malaise as an exaltation, serving with distinction in the line of trash punk, and both a degradation of that which is superfluous in rock and a refinement of its redeeming qualities. Composed of composting tones and rotting with true relish, it’s an exquisite set.

It’s a very good achievement, one I’m going to have to sit and absorb and hope its contaminant remains in my blood as influence. Each track is moving swiftly upward, a distinct sample from the mantle of the core. It’s inviably pounding and cracking with more conviction and force than you expect from any one man band, feeding/rallying off its own fury. And maintaining that emphasis within the its intricate layering, burning melodies and segments at a venerable rate. Any track seems like a good entry point, with its extreme consistency.

For more look to the new/magnificent “Feel Like a Dog” video, something significant and full of detail and invention. Or look back also at the beautiful “Barf Life” video and the prior feature . Support your local egg-based cretin by naming your own price or purchasing a cassette for €7 EUR or more.

TRACK | MENU – Sorcery

5/5 golden merles

“Sorcery” is the first single off the upcoming album from MENU, Pushpin, out October 31st. It follows in the vein of April’s superb/experimental art rock PROOFS (OF THE TRICKS WE PLAYED). It heads off expectations, narrowly avoiding them, in pacing and then pivoting, grappling with guts of the track and turning them back into functional systems of consequence. In playing with tradition through a kind of invention it is achieving a type of escape velocity.

It has some semblance to the works of Flegel/Women/Cindy Lee in the emergence of delicately over elaborated melodies that turn out to be entirely and immediately structurally sound; that selfsame feeling of walking out into the dark and finding sure footing. The presence of the drums is compelling and propulsive, more so than supportive and undergirding. There is some energy in its construct, as if to say: What if traces of math rock could be enjoyed by humans? A proposition I hadn’t seriously considered. But there are tinges and tints to this of that, humanely and held all together.

Look for the album at the end of the spooky month. For now the single is a sole dollar on the bandcamp for the digital experience, which directly supports the artist. Or you could wait and listen to it on Spotify approximately 277 times and the royalties will also accrue to roughly one dollar (not including the fees of distribution).

TRACK | OUZO! – State of Affairs

5/5 golden merles

Australian Garage punk that has become sentient and aware of the existential threats which are damning us to an arbitrary and relatively abrupt end. A dangerous prospect, hopefully. The track contains a litany of discontents, each censure delivered with savor. Racing through the excess offenses of the era, OUZO! continues smashing and grabbing back at the daily gauntlet of inadequate empathy.

And, of course, rightfully so. God damn the status quo, the complacency which empowers it, and the fervor with which its defenders somehow manage to live with themselves. In the fine form the critique holds up and is elevated. Tradition is presently the cancer of culture, by and large, we just hope for the benign kinds cluttering up our chest cavities.

But, also, contradictorily, ritual can reinforce behavior, and maybe with nice, catchy, scathing, fun, fiery tracks like these that tradition can be reinvented, with some small part played as a salving commiseration, consensus building catalyst, or soundtrack for direct action. I don’t know. Adam Curtis would politely laugh in my face for discussing tracks in these terms. But he provides no practical alternative and is himself caught in the indefinite arts feedback loop.

The 7″ is sold out from Weather Vane Records (AU), Polaks Records (EU) but some remain for €7 on the French Wine Records (EU) bandcamp. Or $3 AUD for the digital remains straight from the horses’ mouth.

TRACK | Ambulanz – Wire

5/5 golden merles

Another gem in the Leipzig scene, Ambulanz makes an opposable and articulated sort of garage punk. It feels specialized, amalgamated with magma and deviating, mutating, evolving in inhospitable terrain. There’s real nuance to the vocalizations and utterances, both the phrasing and the way they stack; it’s literally and figuratively marching to the contemplatively staggered, intricate beat of its own drum.

A good mix of drone and pulse, bones and meat, the track is brought into being with intuitive and intelligent design. And it is convincingly conjured. It takes great empathy to orchestrate tactically such a wrath, placing the pieces in the proper sequence to collapse for the sake of conveying a message in the pile that remains. Even the outro pulls you into that excavation, the room, the rain, the noise; whatever it is, breathing.

I initially missed it when Groschi posted about it in June and won’t crib the sounds-like list but if you like this go there and see, you’ll have (metaphorical) fuel for a month. Tapes are out as of September on the bandcamp for €6 EUR.

TRACK | Pigeon – Permanent Quest

5/5 golden merles

Berlin post-punk from Pigeon, “Permanent Quest” offers a cascading lead riff and the ominous, conspiratorial raving that just so happens to ring exclusively true. The subject is our collective dystopian inhabitancy, with talk of a perpetual tasking and the surveillance required by our benefactors to monitor compliance. Thundering and scraping at the lid, I like this grim approximation and its framing of the morgue as monument.

The performance is to be found somewhere between the land of post and present punk; the distinction doesn’t matter, but the frothing is slightly tempered after having had some time to reflect before conveyance. Still, the production affords us drums like a punctured lung, a sampling from the initial pop. And everything maintains that heat amidst dry powder. I’m very much looking forward to the full length.

Name your own price” in ones and zeroes Or vinyl for €6 from the formidable Mangel Records.

TRACK | Padkarosda – Bujk​á​l Benned Valami

5/5 golden merles

Hardcore post-punk from Budapest, Hungary, “Bujk​á​l Benned Valami” (something is hiding inside of you) has a kind of clinical precision, extracting the still beating heart for display. The melodic vocals, tones and textures are nailed on to the eternal side of things, pulsing and phasing with great craft between the well refined passages and instrumental chambers. The rate of rising is consummate with the range of depths fallen, the whole album holds together in this sense of wondrous breadth.

The fury and panic of the feeling is offset by the gorgeous construction. There is the instantly recognizable and heartily apportioned alienation that holds constant. While the lyrics are missing from this set on the bandcamp, they are present on the earlier records, and you can directly feel that steady/familiar estrangement enveloping, it’s omnipresence and the comprehensive and many-angled approaches to addressing it. It feels like a thorough account of groping at the dungeons walls in the dark.

The record was found today through the great TegosluchamPL. Black vinyl limited to 300 worldwide, look to World Gone Mad Records for the shipping over the seas. Or digital album for $8.

TRACK | Klint – Selected Welcome

5/5 golden merles

German synth/egg punk, “Selected Welcome” is tinged and tainted with a lot of good grit and a prodigal pounce. The chorus is a simple phrase that contains the seeds of an adventure, the trek at time of reception, sometime before the hubbub gets hashed out. It has tones that seep in and the pulse of something fretful and not long for this world; it provides a good example of how to proceed if you are looking to leave a mark.

For at least several minutes the lord is baptized in his own blood and there is much singing in the ensuing confusion. I thought for one second I’d written about Klint before but it was Kieff, and through my idiotic error I was greatly rewarded. The whole set clanks and saunters in its own fluids for right around one half of one hour. It’s a soundtrack in two parts, both of them uncannily accurate approximations of being strangled by a stethoscope.

It will be €4 for the digital set split into two halves. Or it’s about $6 for the tape cut up into digestible chunks from Japan’s superb Dial Club.