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 | 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 | Cobra Man – Living in Hell

5/5 golden merles

“Living in Hell” is synth pop / electro-punk with a great sense of fantastical demiurge. It’s anthemic and apocalyptical, with a chorus that must redeem any perceived trespasses or misgivings punk purists might have about the synthesis of style. They’re expertly balancing a heightened humor and horror around two premier vocal performances, joyfully heralding our ongoing collapse.

In the dark times will there also be power disco? Can directly 80’s influenced music become self-aware and not have this result in the destruction of the world? Who cares. It’s a lot of fun. There’s a good mix of disco feinting at egg punk/devocore and all as a means to an end, all in the service of melody and evocation. Initially I was a bit put-off by the grandiosity and refinement. But it’s just too damn good. It rises to include those heightened elements while maintaining a palpable sense of impending dread that best embodies the cultural moment.

Spiritually a bit akin to recent p&p favorites LAFFF BOX, Cupid And The Stupids, –or any of the yolkier punks. The new 2022 Demos III from July are real exciting as well.

TRACK | Jack Stauber – Dead Weight

5/5 golden merles

The strength of Dead Weight lays in it hemorrhaging melody and the lack of limitations embodied in the core of its chaotic good. An endless series of synths rotate in sequence of killer calibration, all the way to its frenetic, gargled conclusion.

A perpetual no-skip on the gauntlet rotation, Jack’s sense of detailing is remarkable across mediums (See: 2020’s musical-horror short Opal). Also for more tunes check his other musical projects/collaborations with Joose and Zaki.

He’s been away for a bit as far as I can tell after Opal/HiLo, so, in either case of hibernation or another project patiently building, I am greatly looking forward to whatever medium he favors in the coming years.