Sunday, 5 February 2017
Review by Joey
Genre/s: Synthpunk, Industrial, Post-Punk, Power Electronics, Dark Ambient, Art Punk, Noise Rock
For Fans Of: Nervous Gender, Clair Obscur, Trop Tard, Flipper
Plastic's 2.0 tape was, in my opinion, one of the best synthpunk releases to come out since Nervous Gender's Music From Hell LP; and also one of the few which I feel actually can be compared to Nervous Gender, based on their use of synth-based electronic noise (not to mention a healthy dose of influence from The Residents). Hell, I'd go as far as to say that Plastic is one of the best synthpunk bands since Nervous Gender, period.
On this newest offering from Chicago's weirdest, their heavier use of industrial/electronics, paired with a descent into much darker post-punk territory, results in a level of bleakness which is as suffocating as the band's music is irresistible. While its predecessor is ostensibly more aggressive musically, the crushing dirges and almost stark soundscaping on Plastic effectively conveys despair and disillusionment so overwhelming that it becomes mesmerizing, and absolutely conducive to disassociation. These songs bear a striking resemblance to those performed by Flipper, not just in the crawling pace, the use of chilling, ironic laughter, and snide, painful delivery, but also in the way that they sound the way depression feels -- although obviously the addition of synth creates a good deal of dissimilarity. The ability to fully capture that state of being, in my experience, is elusive to say the least. If I had to make a visualization of the sounds contained on this release, it would closely resemble the ominous, harsh background of a Dali painting. Needless to say, this release floored me, and I'm hoping they tour around my way again this year; and if they come anywhere near you, I highly recommend going to see them.
Download this, turn your lights off, and get bummed the fuck out. Nothing here is real.
1. At The Gates
2. A Good Laugh
4. Untitled (Mark II)
5. A Call For Help
7. The Garden
Tuesday, 31 January 2017
Review by Joey
Genre/s: Hardcore Punk, Noise Rock
For Fans Of: Tar Babies, Mystery Product, Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers, Stick Men With Ray Guns
Oh shit, January 2017 is gonna be over in a few hours and I still haven't posted anything -- so let's start the year out right (even if it is a month late). I'm sure many of you remember how much I loved Acrylics' s/t tape from last year, and I'm also sure that a good deal of you heard the news about them putting out a 7" on the almighty Iron Lung Records (a.k.a. the greatest label on earth); and if you didn't know those things, now you do. And guess what, sports fans: Despair is Acrylics' most volatile material to date.
Acrylics are a rare breed. They're the sort of band whose music can accurately impart the feeling of being thrown down six flights of stairs and into a pit of tar -- a very specific, yet relatable sensation. Their 2016 tape was a fantastic barrage of disquieting, aggressive punk, and Despair picks up right where that left off; however, these two tracks feel even more fully realized than those on the preceding release. The tracks on this 7" tap into some classic tendencies of noisy punk, but rather than sounding rehashed, they do so in a way that reminds me of what made me fall in love with bands like Tar Babies to begin with. In other words, they are successfully able to sound fresh, and escape the stale trappings many of their contemporaries fall into. The winding riff/stompy thing has gotten pretty played out (especially because a lot of bands can't pull it off), but thanks to their guitarist's amalgam of Greg Ginn's, East Bay Ray's, and Dome's unique styles, along with a stomp comparable to Stick Men With Ray Guns, and a truly unnerving presentation rife with anxiety and dread, Acrylics easily stand out far in front of most of their peers. Simply put, Acrylics exemplify everything I love about wonky, noisy hardcore punk; their brilliant subtlety and ability to overwhelm make them a force to be reckoned with -- a wording which may be cliche, but is accurate nevertheless.
So what are you nerds waiting for? Hurry up and download this slugger -- or if you're able to support, head over to the ILR bandcamp, and get your hands on a copy while you still can!