Wednesday, 14 July 2010



knicked this from Eternal Soundcheck
It's taken me a bit of time but I'm getting to quite like this guy. His CD, The Saddest, on Bedroom Suck is reviewed below.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

SCUM Compilation cassette (spilt release from Destination Failure and Magic Crowbar)

Oh,  Oh, for fuck's sake.
This thing – and thing it is – is a wonderful mess. I enjoy listening to it when cutting up pictures of Parkway Drive and sticking their heads onto hardcore gay porn from the 70s (I recently found just such a stash in a junk shop – gold), and other wholesome fun; it's just that I have had to work far too hard to work out
which song is fucking which on this compilation, given that my copy of the tape had no FUCKING INDICATION WHATSOEVER which side was which and I've actually
had to – get this – pick my FUCKING way through all these band's attendant myspaces to try and work out what the fuckery was going on. So, despite my basic liking of this cassette comp – GET FUCKED.
Would it have hurt you to have drawn a dick on one side – or ANYTHING?

Mm. Got that off my chest.

Now that I'm not annoyed anymore, yeah, SCUM is okay. It's not stellar and it's not some overly anal document, it's more like an attempt to capture a certain flavour, so I don't think the scene is all that well represented by this collection of screechering blurts and blats, unless you consider this to be a sort of abstract expression of the scene in question, because all the songs butt up against one another, vying for supremacy and writhing about like little grubs. Thing is, I found that working for me in the end, but as mentioned above, splitting tracks apart was a bit of a chore. I need not have took such a ridiculous exercise on, and just enjoyed the mess for what it was, but some bits stood out more than others and I NEEDED TO KNOW what the fuck was going on.

If I'm correct, the best single track came from SUPER FUN HAPPY SLIDE, but there were also moments of enjoyable pants mess provided by COLLAPSED TOILET VIETNAM and OCCULT BLOOD – this angle is more my speed of ferocity than, say, SUFFER ( this act were a wee bit too straight hardcore for me, and I'm pretty over hardcore these days ) or THE KILL. SCUMMY GUMS did something for me as well, though what I'm not sure, there's just something about it – I found their track distinctive and engrossing. It was nearly the pick, but SFHS had to get the mention - what a wonderfully stoooopid band. I feel like drinking beer and eating bisucuits in a paddling pool of my very own urine just thinking about them.

The liner notes indicate that this was all mixed by one Robert Mayson and I think his contriubtion, apart from anything else, was to really squash all the cuts into one, making me think that what was being gone for wasn't a strict representation, but an expressive reaction using the band's material as a starting point. I sort of like that idea and I'd like to hear a more amorphous version one day, where it all does just turn into a chunk of screaming meaty goodness.
Some mention must go about the lovable cover art - it's by well-known punk try hard and trendy art wankstain, the wonderful Stewie "Wolverine's Gay Brother" Cole - go look at his blog, he's doing some of the best stuff he's ever done right now.
Order this cassette from the weirdos over at Magic Crowbar.

Monday, 5 July 2010

ABSOLUTEN CALFEUTRAIL Braybrook (Sabbatical)

One the better small labels in Australia currently, responsible for a range of excellent releases, Sabbatical are hard to pin down – Noise and it's attendants seem to be a focus, but beyond that, the real interest would seem to be quality. One can rely on a Sabbatical release being a fine example of whatever wedge of the sonic spectrum it's emanating from. Basically, I recommend all available product. Releases are limited editions of at the most 200 so sleep not.
I'm fortunate enough to have a fine selection at my disposal and I really should have written more about it all some time ago, but well, I didn't. I aim to rectify this slowly over the coming weeks, beginning this sharp winters day with a pungent confection from Absoluten Calfeutrail entitled Braybrook. A short run of 40 on cassette has allowed few to hear this so it really does want discussing so it's existence can be acknowledged – because it's decent, at the very least.
Braybrook, if we mean the industrial suburb in Victoria, Australia, is not a trendy inner city suburb. Wikipedia tells me it's got a decent immigrant population, and that there is a pentecostal church in the area. It's described as suburb where people live but commute to work elsewhere – a bedroom suburb. I'd not heard that term before today, but it seems to be a fair summation of not only this place but a great many like it that exist the world over. Inhabited but tired and weary, places to sleep. I might be unpacking a little too much from the packaging of this cassette, but it seems to be a puzzle to be picked at; Mark Groves, the author, is cursed with being a deep thinker and it may be that I'm required to engage on a certain level – to submerge myself in this small yet significant release – to get the most from it. Its' easy enough though, really, if I allow myself to go with my first thought – the discussion is class, economics, money based. This would not be all though;  Side one is a planing tone of sound the evokes distance, aircraft flying overhead, a whining sonic that is a giant drill, a flock of mechanical insects, distant traffic and transport which one sleeps and eats in and does little else but watch Hey Hey it's Saturday every Wednesday. Side Two takes a different tactic, as a warbling bleat keeps a kind of rythym underneath which drums of objects turn and voices seem chruned into non-intelligble sound before an eruption occurs then decasy into muttering befoe the final track brings us to another shaking beat that decasy into a an alsmost pathetic thumping before the silence arrives, completing the journey into Braybrook.  It's bleak. Of course it is. It's from a place that is nowhere, nothing.
It's just that it isn't. There are people in Braybrook, there's a community centre, a catholic school (of course there's a catholic school. Catholicism is synonymous with the working class in Australia). There's life. More than that, there's history.

So is this cassette, named for a suburb, is not a hymn to the nothingness of working class lives, but something else, for Mark Groves is cursed with being a deep thinker, and to suggest that this exploration is a trendy Fitzroy wanker freaking out about the horror of the suburbs – well, no. Braybrook is an attempt to discuss history and change in a tiny pocket of Melbourne. I had to research to get that but I've been spoon fed by track names and imagery and it's easy to see the arc of narrative on this release – and I really must say, a noise cassette that's about the history, about the rise and fall of a suburb? That points to the industrialisation of agriculture and all that is implied by that moment for Australia itself? Using the small to point to the large? I never would have thought of that, not being that much of a student of Australina history,  and now I have and I'm the better for it. This sonic reaction to historical moments and events is a well-defined and thoughtful piece that evokes questions and encourages me to think further.
This is an excellent release; the sounds contained herein are interesting impressions of the patterns of history, informed by research and crafted with care. Meticulous, thought out and controlled, they demand a cool listen coupled with thought and research to unpack, although they were pretty good just to have playing while I made dinner as well.
If you can find one of these small gems, get it. Braybrook will satisfy.