Posts Tagged ‘postpunk’

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


Sunday, September 30th, 2012

All The Kids Are Gonna Fuck You Up 7″
Smooch Records, 2001

The cover says it all. This gnarly ripper from the early 2000s has that electric x-factor that edges all its noisy aggressive racket into truly inspired territory. Even the tinny, crackling production can’t stop the force of nature captured within the grooves of this glitter-infused slab of clear vinyl. Fitting somewhere within the Gravity Records/Gold Standard Labs/Three One G universe of noisy and abrasive postpunk, complete with screamy dual vocals ala The Locust or Blood Brothers, Sparkles should be widely known as a fine specimen of screamo hardcore.


Sparkles – All The Kids Are Gonna Fuck You Up (14.7mb ZIP file)

The Prefab Messiahs

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Peace Love and Alienation LP
Fixed Identity, 2012

It never ceases to amaze just how many buried gems are still out there. For example, check out this Worcester, MA postpunk psych romp from the early ’80s, reissued on Gary War and Taylor Richardson‘s Fixed Identity label. It’s a perfect infusion of Nuggets-style garage psych into the scrappy sound of early postpunk alá Swell Maps, The Urinals, The Homosexuals, etc. With small traces of ’80s collegiate guitar chime, The Prefabs assembled a timeless, killer sound that’s on par with the best sounds from any era. Why they haven’t been name-dropped incessantly over the last 30 years is a mystery.

Buy LP at Fixed Identity
The Prefab Messiahs on Bandcamp
The Prefab Messiahs WFMU interview


13th Chime

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Complete Discography CD
Sacred Bones Records, 2010

One of the amazing things about music fandom is that no matter how far you explore a music genre there’s always a hidden gem that comes out of nowhere and instantly gives you a fresh perspective on a scene that you thought you knew so well. Granted, you always pay your dues snatching up lesser records that don’t quite have the magic of albums that pull you into a scene, satisfied to just find something that approaches the greatness of landmark records in your collection. But every once and a while a band will come along and make you wonder how the fuck you’d never heard of ’em. Such is the case of UK postpunk band 13th Chime who apparently had a bit of success during the early 1980s, touring with groups like The Addicts, The Meteors, Spear of Destiny, and The Enid, getting some airplay from John Peel, and releasing a few solid 7-inches and recording an unreleased LP. The quality level of 13th Chime’s recorded output exceeds many of their peers, with a gnashing style of darkwave postpunk that exists somewhere between the pounding throb of Killing Joke and the stark histrionics of Christian Death, tempered with the synthetic whine of Siouxsie, Tubeway Army, and Bauhaus. Yet those are just reference points, as 13th Chime had a harrowing sound that was distinctly their own. Huge props to Sacred Bones for bringing their unreleased LP to light decades later and packaging it up with their solid singles collection, demanding that this unheard band get its due.


Buy 13th Chime at Sacred Bones Records
13th Chime on MySpace

Nothing People

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Soft Crash LP
S-S Records, 2010

After last year’s sleeper LP Late Night, and the short but sweet Enemy With An Invitation 7″ on Permanent Records early this year, a lot of people were getting worked up over this, their 3rd album, and I’m pleased to say that it’s looking like one of the best LPs of 2010. While Late Night took a number of spins to fully absorb due to its sophisticated, slow-mo aesthetic, Soft Crash has the immediate hooks and scrappy charm of their first LP. Their sound has moved well past the Roxy Music/Bowie tags their early Hozac and S-S singles got and into something distinctly their own. There’s sustained synth and a subtle glam polish to their songs, but the mood of Soft Crash exists in a grittier, electropunk realm that echoes the wild buzzing pulse of Chrome and the rich aural textures of modern day Sonic Youth. All in all, that’s just a fancy way of saying that this record sounds great at first spin and continues to sound great after weeks on the turntable.


Buy Soft Crash at S. S. Records
Nothing People on MySpace

Jack O Nuts

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Raw Candle Vote / Antonin Artaud 7″
Radial Records, 1993

A number of factors may explain why this Athens postpunk outfit never got the respect they deserve. It was easy to confuse them with Jaks, another excellent band in the mid-nineties that mined similarly angular, bass-driven noise rock alá The Jesus Lizard. Their name could also be confused with Tim Kerr’s (Big Boys, Poison 13, Monkeywrench, Lord High Fixers, etc) mid-90s project Jack O’ Fire. Or perhaps all the accurate but dismissive fanzine reviews describing them as a Jesus Lizard with a female singer didn’t appeal to the unwashed, male-centric indie masses who were still dealing with the Riot Grrl backlash. Whatever the reason, it’s a damn pity because they definitely had a unique take on the tense, mangled-but-regimented sound that cropped up in the 1990s underground. The good news is that their two LPs are relatively easy to find, so if you dig this great single — which includes a solid Bauhaus cover — you can easily score some more Jack O Nuts.


Jack O Nuts – “Raw Candle Vote”
Jack O Nuts – “Antonin Artaud” (Bauhaus)


Jack O Nuts on Built on A Weak Spot
Jack O Nuts on Beyond Failure