COMP | If, When, & With Whom

5/5 golden merles

Undeniably Spared Flesh are at the pinnacle of the pump, deep in the heart of it, perched near one of the prime spigots for what remains of the corroded valve of rock. Look at this fucking line up of the beloved: Gee Tee, Zero Percent APR, EXWHITE, Billiam, MESH, Nick Normal, Cupid and The Stupids.

Mercifully, these petty thugs are united temporarily in a common cause of good: all proceeds from this release benefit the National Network of Abortion Funds.

True to their individual representations of self, the collected works are not lacking passion and composure. Far from throwaway tunes, each groups reached deep in the pocket and pulled generously from their wares, a welcome sign of solidarity in these dire times.

The compilation is a great introduction to so many inspired acts and creators in the midst of many you must already appreciate if you’ve read to paragraph four of this idiot blog. I live and breath this muck and I didn’t know about the immensely promising My Friend Cowboy or Bruise Linear. But now I do and I can store them where they belong: an endless series of tabs like tombstones in Mozilla.

Why scour through the debris later? These folks are working and making now, you can support them and their causes in real time. You’ve not got to wait for a Tiny Twerps volume to release 20-50 years after the fact, or make a costly pilgrimage to plant your dead gerbil in front of the charred remains of the Elephant 6 house. Cassettes remain at $15 on the edition of 100/$10 for .flac files.

TRACK | Zero Percent APR – Heavy Fucking Metal

5/5 golden merles

Immense and worthy, Zero Percent APR refines lo-fi psych punk roundabouts Austin, TX. “Heavy Fucking Metal” applies the rightful insolence due the stupid world but with a craft and consideration for their contemporaries who must endure its excesses alongside them (this means you). Yarns spun and death belittled in the thorough classification, there’s masterly world building before the stylistic dismantling.

I’m enlightened now, can’t you tell / when I die I wanna burn in hell. To explain why it works is a bit nasty and brutish, the rigors and ardor self-evident, sorta ineffable. But I have no shame, so: with its great consistency of the segments and variations on the heavy metal definitions, it has a feeling of the range, method and effect of great rock like Destroy All Monsters, “You’re gonna die.” It is one hell of a preview for the album to come, 23 tracks of this gleeful venom releasing on November 4th.

Preorder black vinyl from the label that knows your innermost thoughts and doesn’t care, Spared Flesh, for $20, digital is $8.

TRACK | Guitar – Double Down

5/5 golden merles

“Double Down” is freshly forged Portland-based lo-fi garage and post-punk. A slightly disoriented rendition of what you’ve come to expect: the atoms scrambled up, the collider coughing up something new. The work is recoiling from structure and form a bit and thereby moving closer toward tone and feeling. It feels singular despite the common pallet. It unravels for a couple minutes before snapping back into a likeness for what you might favor.

The album didn’t immediately burrow into my skull on the first pass when I saw it come up at the esteemed and endlessly reliable tegosluchamPL. But a second pass as the closing track on‘s recent Verspannungskassette #40 finally got it through the thickness and had me excitedly searching “guitar” in google like a jackass for a bit.

What should rock music sound like in a geriatric oligarchy? It’s a tool, as always, but one of escape or commiseration? In Guitar’s self-titled you can have a bit of both. From where I sit —fleeing one price gouging to another, within a gauntlet of diseases, no prospects or future— it feels like a good approximation: the sound of disillusionment compounding. There are plenty of bits where the melody and traditional structure is subverted, detuned and driven off the cliff or into a pit. And ringing truer because of it. And with plenty of cohabitant reference points for footing. And the work is overall stronger for it, ending with this, the most approachable track, “double down.” In a class of them it would be voted most likely to succeed, but, in god’s name, at what? It is the most at ease with expectations and a great tune, bigger within the context of a really good set.

The cassette is out on Spared Flesh Records.