I’d hoped that this week’s newsletter would be a deep dive into hipsters, hipster Curtis Yarvin stans, and the new Watain. Unfortunately, after multiple pages of notes and hyperlinks to hair metal videos from the ‘80s, Christopher Hitchens blogs from the aughts, and terribly written Bardo Methodology interviews with black metal survivors of the Pinochet regime, I realized that the topic might require more hours/pills than I’d previously set aside. And I realize that longtime readers might suspect that the piece might end up in the same category as the long promised deep dives into mod/goth NYC culture, Crimpshrine, the killed-by-Noisey Peter Murphy profile and… whatever else I very much intended to get around to at some point. Well, reader, fuck you and your lack of faith! It’ll be next week. And those other ones will happen someday too. I just need to finish my novel, do a bunch of stuff for the new Creem Magazine, finish the liner notes for the *redacted* reissue, and otherwise make enough money to pay for my fancy pants grief therapist. But after that? It’ll be Crimpshrine appreciation and canceled goth city, guys. I swear. And the Watain/hipster facism piece next week, I swear to Lucifer Lightbringer themself.
But, in the interest of giving you fine people your “money”’s worth, here’s some Bandcamp Friday recommendations!
daddy’s boy Great News! “No ethical consumption under capitalism” was supposed to be a sad fact, not an affirmational rallying cry. But DIY has always been lousy with strivers whose definitions of both “It” and “yourself” were *cough* expansive. Or maybe they just stopped listening after the “Do” part. Either way, “community” sometimes means exactly that, and sometimes it just means “Same As the Old Boss” industry bullshit, just with a few Black Flag bars thrown on top. (Maybe not the best analogy, as Greg Ginn was a pioneer of the type…) Anyhoo, real ones know. And if I could have one petty wish, it would be to be in the room/Brooklyn loft when some of the phonies, that some of these songs are about, heard this record for the first time.
It’s a largely harmless wish tho, as the targets of Jes Skolnik’s righteous scorn are largely immune to anything as prosaic as self-awareness. But a jerk can dream. In daddy’s boy, the scabrously (and always weirdly empathetically) erudite Skolnik has found themself amongst AmCred compatriots, more than able and willing to match the Bandcamp editor’s gnarly, pointed, and pounding expressions of post-lizard bother. Great News! is a lovely collection of blood-vessel-blurt, made by and for the We Live In A System’s sassiest, most indomitable-spirited, punkesque punching-uppers. Produced like a concrete mixer by the ever razor-sharp-eared Steve Albini, presumably as part of the former edge-lord’s continuing Truth and Reconciliation project.
Hibernation Into The Silence of Eternal Sorrow, In the Years of Desolation Neither of these albums by Greek neo-stadium-epic-crust giants, Hibernation, are remotely new. The first monster of synth-infused stench metallics came out in 2003 and Hibernation waited a cool fifteen years to make an equally Tragidacious follow up. But both albums are new to me! And it’s my newsletter! While researching this, I went down an appropriately obscure crust punk rabbithole. And, tbh, a lot of the bands I discovered were… fine. But this blog post convinced me to check Hibernation out. And, if you love Amebix and Tragedy and Neurosis and and and…but wish they were just a tad more like Tangerine Dream, with the occasional ‘70s prog rock breakdown, well, boy are you in for a treat. (Really, only the first album is particularly synth heavy, but they both are hefty enough squats of crusty goodness to support an entire wall mural of Missing Foundation graffiti.)
Lost Legion Bridging Electricity I don’t want to get into it too much, both for reasons of shareability and personal safety, but in my very, very, very humble opinion, some of the currently hyped skinhead bands are… kind of boring. Street punk isn’t a genre that puts too much a premium on originality. And I don’t want it to! But there’s an infinitesimally fine line between heartfelt, boisterous and soul stirring skinhead rock and, you know, Rancid with a gym membership. But GODDARNIT IS THIS EP BY A BUNCH OF CHICAGO BOOT BOYS JUST BONKERS GOOD. I honestly can’t believe how bananapants, outrageously fantastic these songs are. Fuerza Bruta already had songwriting skills that most major label pop-punks can only dream about, but something this classic sounding is still a shocker. Two Leatherface-esque, stiff little fingered, heart attacks that are as perfect pop as Pegboy or Zipgun or Joe Coffee at their mid-tempo weepiest, and a Go-Go’s cover that is just… fucking gorgeous. God bless and keep these sweet miscreants, and please keep them alive long enough to make a full length.
J.R.C.G. DRUMMY Dude from the only currently existent grunge band that doesn’t suck, Dream Decay, making clattering drone pop for nowless “people.” The sound of a vacuum cleaner cool enough to not scare cats. Haphazardly beautiful and, at three minutes and one second, at least forty seconds too short. Dead C playing The Hacienda.
Lollise Unborn Wrote about Lollise’s last EP here. With only one song to go by, it appears that the Motswana expat is going full-on LES Artiste. And I can’t imagine anything sicker. Syrup-bass-synth lines intertwine with yo-yo rhythms while the singer hiccups, Ari Up style, singsong lyrics (maybe sardonically, maybe in earnest, maybe both) about it being her/your birthday and nobody caring. But clearly Lollise does.
Tarkamt 1100 dB (Buried in slag and debris) I have a full Q&A with Abundant Living fave Tarkamt coming up in his label’s zine, and eventually in this newsletter, so I don’t want to use up all my good adverbs now. But u should buy this gorgeous blast of space static now, so you’ll get all the jokes when you read about it in depth later.
Teen Suicide coyote (2015-2021) Teen Suicide’s Sam Ray has terrible (sometimes self-inflicted) luck, a teen idol’s inherent joie de vivre and incipient tragedy, and simultaneously the worst and best taste in music of just about anyone I know. And he transmits this complexity from a bridge between him and the music industry, that he maintains at a continuous state of burning as if, were he to stop juggling/tossing molotov cocktails for even a second, he and everything he loves might expire from the cold. I don’t know how he manages to make digression feel epic, like elephants crossing the Alps, or how he consistently mumbles his way into profundity, but he does it everytime, or at least whenever he gets around to it. Sam has soul, and ghosts, for days. He’s a designated mourner. Maybe not super fun for him, but his dead are lucky to have him (and so are we). Hopefully this song will lead to a full album coming out, at some point before Trump’s third presidential term.
Ataque Subliminal demo I know nothing about this band besides that they are on Toxic State. Being on NYC’s premier showcase for abstractly tuff malcontents is usually a pretty safe indication of a band’s quality (and a pretty safe indicator that I’m going to be at least passively jealous of the band members’ outfits…) and Ataque Subliminal live up to (both of) those standards. Sideways surf garage-punk, with the waves split evenly between new and no, made by punx who dress like if The Pastels had a sideline in fighting crime. There’s a gritty dynamism in the rhythm section that provides a real nice thread of Big Boysian rage-funk throughout. I know I keep saying “I hope this artist does a full length!” But I don’t make the news, I just report it. And I do hope these Urban Lawns keep this shit up.
Thanks for reading!
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