Archive for the ‘2020s’ Category

Lars Finberg

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

Tinnitus Tonight LP
Mt.St.Mtn, 2020

Lars Finberg - Tinnitus TonightBeing a jaded old fuck who’s been subjected to more mediocre indie rock than one should reasonably bear, often not by choice, I tend to get rankled by music that doesn’t even try to conceal its influences or attempt to bring a single original thought to the table. When I hear an album like Tinnitus Tonight it’s hard to fathom why most bands and artists can’t bother to push themselves creatively just a little bit or at least find a well of inspiration that hasn’t been sucked dry for decades. It’s exhausting to find exceptional music, but perhaps the glut of mediocrity is the very thing that elevates the best records to the top of the stack.

The gift Lars Finberg has to disfigure rock riffs into minor chord marvels should serve as a glowing example for those who feel the need to pick up a guitar and make some noise to share with the world. Using the conventional tools of rock and roll flavored with a mix of garage punk, post punk, synth punk and mutant surf, Mr. Finberg, with seemingly effortless cool, has crafted or contributed to countless albums with bands like The Intelligence, Puberty, Rubber Blanket, A Frames and more, all with a magnetic pull and genius lyrics that stand out from the indie rock heap and reveal an exceptionally creative mind that’s actually done its homework.

Although this is his second solo release, this recording actually predates his debut album, Moonlight Over Bakersfield, and the songs collected here do cover some uncharted territory that exists somewhere between the refined sound of Moonlight and his more widely known work with The Intelligence. Ranging from the clean acoustic strum that grows with swells of surf guitar and vintage synth blurts on “Lord of the Files V2″ to the pummeling bass line and gnarly freeform guitar squeal of “Public Admirer” or the surprise synth blasts toward the end of “Kitchen Floor”, Tinnitus Tonight isn’t a mere collection of shelved material, it’s another proof point that creativity isn’t finite and that Lars Finberg’s particular strain of creativity expands even further than his prolific discography.

So kids, before you start a band and expect anyone to fawn all over your musical genius, study up on how you can defy mediocrity like Lars Finberg and then get to work. Thank you.

The Intelligence · Tinnitus Tonight

Buy Tinnitus Tonight at Mt St Mtn

The Spits

Saturday, October 31st, 2020

The Spits VI
Thriftstore Records, 2020

The Spits VIJust in time for Halloween in the epically shitty year 2020 comes a gift from one of garage punk’s greatest gifts: Spewing up from the post-apocalyptic Michigan wastelands that birthed this malformed mutant punk troupe infamously known as The Spits, comes LP number six , a full nine years after their last LP. It’s hard to believe it’s been 9 years since In The Red Records unleashed their classic record number 5, especially because, like their other releases, it hasn’t lost its fire and flavor at all over those 9 years. Stylistically The Spits don’t break any new ground on VI, but that’s not what you go to The Spits for time and time again. You go to The Spits to get your clock cleaned by catchy-as-fuck punk blurts that barely reach the 2 minute mark, slathered in fuzz, weird vocal FX, and so-simple-they’re-brilliant lyrics stitched together with an uncanny ear worms and a tinny trash rock beat. Recorded in various basements in the midwest by midwest bedroom punk luminary Erik Nervous, this record is a slight departure from The Spits’ Seattle output, but worry not, as the sound you know and love is all there, mixed for maximum brain-frying impact on cassette 4-track.

Although it appears to have sold out on its October 30 release date from the Spits’ Thriftstore Records Big Cartel site, you might be able to snag a copy on black or red vinyl elsewhere on the interwebs. Like all The Spits’ previous records, you’ll need this one and give it many spins.

LINKS

Listen to “Breakdown” on YouTube
Listen to “Up All Night” on YouTube

 

 

Duma

Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Duma

Duma LP
Nyege Nyege Tapes, 2020

There’s grindcore in Kenya? My ignorance of that fact, which honestly shouldn’t be all that terribly surprising given the reach of extreme metal throughout the world, admittedly piqued my interest in this group. The stunningly brilliant cover image definitely set up some pre-conceived expectations of gnarly metallic hyper chug and gore-centric themes, standard fare for the grindcore genre, but I’m thrilled to report that this not only blasts itself well outside any genre constraints, it’s easily one of the most original forays into extreme music these tinnitus-tainted ears have heard in a long time. This guitar-free grind is rooted in dense, polyrhythmic percussive blasts peppered by washes of noise that make this monster feel more like something from your record store’s industrial/experimental/noise section than the metal bins. In fact, other than the pulse-shredding percussive blasts, the only other recognizable hallmark of grindcore here are visceral vocal growls and wails, which thankfully veer well past cartoonish into crazed. Take some harsh power electronics, mash it up with chopped up gabber beats and bits of William Bennet’s post-Whitehouse project Cut Hands and you’ve got something nearly as terrifying as this monster.