Posts Tagged ‘weird punk’

Factums

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Flowers LP
Sacred Bones Records, 2009

Sprouting from the same Seattle weirdpunk nexus that bloomed The Intelligence, A-Frames, and AFCGT comes one of the most mysterious and puzzling bands currently rearranging the sonic DNA of noisenerd earholes worldwide. Pulling together sounds pioneered by early synthpunk groups like Chrome and The Units, and tweaking them with a dose of tranced-out Can and Faust-style krautrock, every element of Factums music is a couple steps removed from normal. I recently picked up the special edition version of their latest LP on the stellar Sacred Bones label, Flowers, and have been trying to decode it for the last week or so. Far more focused than the sputtering soundtrack of A Primitive Future and their early Spells & Charms LP, Flowers kicks out 22 tracks worth of weird jamz with hardly a lull. They didn’t eliminate the blippy experimentation and random cut and paste aesthetic found in their earlier releases, but with Flowers—constructed from recording sessions dating back to 2006 and 2007—they’ve trimmed these excursions just enough to keep the album flowing and interesting. Last year’s LP, The Sistrum, made the NFZ Best of 2008 list and this release at first take seems to be even more finely constructed and dazzling. It’s one of the better releases you’ll hear this year…

LINKS:

Factums on MySpace
Buy Flowers at Sacred Bones

The Daily Void

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Identification Code:
5271-4984953784-06564
LP
Dead Beat Records, 2008

I was sold on The Daily Void from the git go, being the twisted, sci-fried mutation of Chicago’s blistering Functional Blackouts. And after picking up their raging HoZac and Florida’s Dying 7″ singles, I knew that an album’s worth of their Crime-damaged paranoia punk would be A+ essential listening for modern noise mutants. With stabbing stereo shards of guitar piercing a tightly-wound rhythm section and snotty, robotic vox sneering songs with titles like “(You’re Not A Man) You’re An Insect”, “You’ve Been Erased”, and “The Man Without A Face”, The Daily Void give their apocalyptic primal punk sound a modern cybernoid edge that reveals an Orwellian view to life in the age of Twitter.

LINKS:

Download MP3s at RCD LBL
The Daily Void on MySpace
Dead Beat Records

Thinking Fellers Union Local 282

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Admonishing the Bishops 10″
Matador, 1993

Easily one of the most interesting groups of the 1990s indie underground, the Thinking Fellers had a slew of releases on the Matador and Communion labels, with  this 4-song EP capturing their finest and most-focused songs. You can guarantee that every TFUL 282 record has its moments of weirdo brilliance, bubbling up from sprawling tracks that could effortlessly shift from warbling tape loops to the unlikely sounds of mandolin, banjo, and french horn. I caught them live a couple times in the mid-1990s and was impressed not only with how entertaining their live show was, but with how easily they could trade instruments and singing duty, all while delivering some truly interesting music. It’s a risky endeavor for most bands to take this freewheeling approach to making music, but TFUL 282, as their name implies, were indeed thoughtful folks who seemed to be driven by the endless possibilities of making cool, quirky music. The first track, “Hurricane” is a beautifully constructed, sweetly haunting song that uses off-key tuning to great effect, sounding something like a bizarro version of the Pixies doing a Slint cover, while “Undertaker” further employs off-key clashing that builds into a rollicking, locomotive song featuring vocals that slip into a falsetto yodel. Sounds crazy on paper — and it is crazy — but somehow it all works to great effect. Side two kicks off with the catchy “Million Dollars,” featuring a nicely treated guitar effects, before closing with another well-constructed song, “Father,” which somehow strings along nervy Dead C-style vocals and some buzzing beehive guitar work before mutating into a bluegrass stomp, complete with banjo and a hillbilly twang. Again, it sounds crazy, but somehow it works. Admonishing the Bishops remains one of the most interesting records of the 1990s and it’s a damn shame that it’s out of print and relatively unknown to the indie legions.


DOWNLOAD:

TFUL 282 – “Hurricane”
TFUL 282 – “Undertaker”
TFUL 282 – “Million Dollars”
TFUL 282 – “Father”

LINKS:

Official TFUL 282 Website

Indian Jewelry

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Free Gold! LP
Deleted Art/We Are Free, 2008

Although I bit on their early 7″ on On/On Switch records in 2005, and 2006′s Invasive Exotics steadily became one of my most-listened-to albums in 2007, it wasn’t until this year’s Free Gold! LP that Indian Jewelry really became a top shelf band for me. In a layered, hazy psychedelic fog, Indian Jewelry not so much create songs as create buzzing, soothing atmospheres strung together with effects-heavy beats and ethereal vocals. They continue the sinister lineage of fellow Houstonians The Pain Teens, whose dark and heavy noise rock pounded through the late ’80s and early ’90s, while also exhibiting the cold darkwave synthpulse of late ’90s/early 2000 Bay Area group The Vanishing — both great bands that will no doubt be mentioned in future Noise for Zeros entries.
DOWNLOAD:

Indian Jewelry — “Swans”
Indian Jewelry — “Temporary Famine Ship”

LINKS:

Indian Jewelry on MySpace
Indian Jewelry on Swarm of Angels
Indian Jewelry on Now We Are Free
Indian Jewelry on Deleted Art
Indian Jewelry on Tiger Beat 6