Friday, June 27, 2008

Huffin... not chuffing?




I hate to say it but I’m a bit non-plussed about the new Nurse with Wound, although Cruisin’ for Bruisin’ does make for an interesting in-car experience… The magic seems to be spread too thinly I suppose, buried too deeply in all that lounge-core hustle. Maybe I’m just putting the past on too much of a pedestal… but a lot of the instrumentals seem to be treading water…Going through the motions…Not feeling them un-nerved or ‘what the fuck’ knives pressing into my head…

…Guess it needs more time to merge on in there – too early to tell… There’s certainly plenty to love between the polished smooth shiny shininess. Matt Waldron’s Black Teeth does bite deep into the satisfaction stakes, the Freida Abtan vocals on Thrill of Romance ooze a yummy semi-sinister flavour and that animal cacophony of Hairy Egg is a real kiddie in a toy box moment…

Listening while typing this I can feel my mind isn’t set…


{to be continued}

Sunday, June 15, 2008

the old uns are the best

Starving Weirdos – Absolute Freedom 7 inch


Really like this Abandon Ship release – the solidity of sound contrasts brilliantly with the fractured vibes of the dessert. All slapping tin monkey on a dervish spiral, filling up the canvas nicely, as a snare beats a dead flag militia that skates out on a half discernable horizon. A procession density that is cast away to the inky stretch of sustain, a dead battery drone whose descended shadows spread out as a vague suggestion of flies gathers around the track’s demise.

The other side jigsaws itself to this with ease, coming across like a die cast reverse of its predecessor. A drum beat chop shop on a gasping retraction. A sickly mirage of cymbal kiss and clattertronics filled with tripped-out inclinations, within which surprise vocals just fall into place as if they’d been there all the time. Sounds as rich as a Lee Renaldo rant, the semi-obscured words folding over themselves as the irregular falls to a regular rock pattern end.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

An Afternoon with Sunburn

Sunburned Side Projects, The Michael Flower Band and Ice Bird Spiral brought together by qu-junktions

A great time was had afloat the Thekla as part of the Venn Fest' 08. The boat smelt all yeasty as we descended into it’s darkened hull, it was really dark, even when the stage lights were burning - let alone when masked up in our Spiral regalia, how we boiled...

The promised Side Projects that afternoon were all mighty fine, a tiny glimpse of the vast melting pot that constitutes the Sunburned experience...



First up was Rzz-e-Bzz’s (risk-e-biz?) - a relatively new concoction of Sarah and Ron’s(?) - so new in fact I don’t think the paint had time to dry on the name yet. Both were bent over numerous fx units / sequined beat makers and the like... The results were really impressive, full of neat rhythms churning n skating around numerous flaking ripples and distorted bends, gleaming circuits making a home out of my inner ear.

After a few gulps from Kek’s gin glass, a rough plan of action was hatched and we climbed the stage. I suppose sound check uncertainty led us into more of a freeform noise set… contrasting nicely with our more sedate affair at the Cube a few months back...



...Lots of screaming-a-delics, guitar abuse, mangled keys, scraping and the like wrapped in copious amount of feedback squall, even a bonus face off rant in multiple languages... Some of which wouldn’t have been possible without DJ Baz bringing along a forgotten box of tricks... Lots of fun, worth losing my voice for! Doppleganger exclaimed later that we were groping into even darker territories than before, and chuffed to bits that Sunburned dug our evol too.



Unfortunately, only managed to catch the end of Michael Flower Band’s set, being busy bagging up all our musical paraphernalia. From back stage you could hear John’s drums smashing through that tangle of guitar, as melody surrendered to a wider wigged out aperture, with plenty of spurring shapes spewing outward.





Sitting cross legged on the floor made perfect sense while watching the DVD screening interlude – Two eyes of the wood I think it was called – a spiritual voyage through a darkening forest, images slipping over each other, snails creeping across rotting fruit. Textural smears and flamed licks to a Buddhist drone/moan cycle scored by Michael's very own Vibracathedral orchestra – image and sound a cohesive whole.

This ancient sound divining continued with the next act, didn’t catch the name unfortunately, but what dribbled out of the speakers was pleasantly stoked with mysticism...



On screen a dogs canines tore into a branch, the branch’s fingers making antlered shadows of the dog’s silhouette. Glowing flashes of red, orange and gold sparking through it’s gaping teeth, vague hints of shapes breaking around a halo as a tree-trunk smacked the stage to leper bell refrain, the vocals moaning a close mic{ed} sacrament to a rotating horizon - everything covered in a satisfying ambiguity.

Last up were The Clear People – their set started with them pawing over these digital memory units that looked like miniature 70’s dancefloors – a vocal cut up concrete of grunts and other vocal debris came from within them, almost as if Cobbing, Chopin, Artaud and Schwitters were all trapped in a stuttering competition... This was followed by a spindle spun thought-form narrative from John, his intoxicating use of language is always a pleasure, and the images here so vivid, they literally vibrated in my head… Their set ended in a rocked out guitar/drum send off, the perfect end to that afternoon’s proceedings.



Thank you to everybody who made this such a friendly and exciting event, here’s to doing it again some time soon...

Monday, June 09, 2008