A Reader staffer shares three musical obsessions, then asks someone (who asks someone else) to take a turn.
Kevin Warwick, Reader associate editor
Power Trip, Nightmare Logic Power Trip is crossover thrash for the tattered, sleeveless Cro-Mags T-shirt in all of us. The Dallas band’s best full-length by a good country mile’s worth of Scott Ian’s chin beard, Nightmare Logic sounds forged in the blast furnace of a scorched and abandoned industrial compound, where the only things that survive are scavenging radioactive coyotes and the memories of all that went wrong. Spin it three times in a row and you’re going to need a tetanus shot.
Billy Yeager pulls a fast one In late March, online vinyl marketplace Discogs distributed a press release announcing its biggest transaction to date: the $18,000 sale of a 1989 test pressing of the album 301 Jackson St. by little-known Florida guitarist Billy Yeager. But now the transaction looks to have been staged by Yeager himself—since getting a cosign from Bruce Hornsby and a minute of major-label attention in 1990, he’s perhaps become a touch delusional about his fame and, well, the monetary worth of his music. Who doesn’t love a good hoax?
Facs Disappears minus one, this local trio led by Brian Case (now on bass) have little music online—just two demo tracks on Bandcamp. I did catch their first show, however, when they opened for Joan of Arc in January. Drummer Noah Leger gets more space here to explore, but the sound is still plenty stark and ominous, more so than Disappears even. Your chances of seeing them are increasing, as they’re playing out more and more.
Kevin is curious what’s in the rotation of . . .
Cassandra Mukahirn, vocalist for Lowhangers
Merchandise at the Empty Bottle last September At the merch table I begged the guitarist to play anything from their first record, (Strange Songs) In the Dark, but to my surprise their whole set was a beautiful mix of new and old—some songs from their newest album, A Corpse Wired for Sound, moved me deeply and physically. Everyone was dancing, something I’d never seen at the Bottle, and the synth-glazed music, bordering on Smiths worship, created a romantic 80s haze. Merchandise will make you yearn for a past lover or hold tight to the ones you have.
Kilslug, Answer the Call (1986) My favorite noise-rock band from the 80s, Boston’s Kilslug is like a heavy, weird, drugged-out version of Flipper with aspects of sludge and metal thrown in. Singer Larry Lifeless is almost hard to listen to because of his off-key tone and strange lyrics (“I get mad, and I break things”), but he fits perfectly with the music. Answer the Call is discordant and sloppy, but in a perfectly palatable way. Related bands: Upsidedown Cross, Anal Cunt, Adolf Satan.
Sea of Shit This insufferable Chicago powerviolence band has been around for almost a decade but still constantly releases new music. Singer Robby Komen runs a DIY spot (the Mousetrap) as well as a label/distro (Diseased Audio). Sea of Shit’s artwork will make you cringe, and their music will make you shake your head at the despair in the world—it’s cripplingly, satisfyingly heavy and persistently grim. You won’t catch SOS playing at a bar, though—you’ll have to go underground.
Cassandra is curious what’s in the rotation of . . .
Omar Gonzalez, drummer for Rectal Hygienics
Skin Crime, Case Studies in Early Taxidermy Techniques This will probably be “in rotation” for quite some time due the magnitude of the release. Case Studies is a collection of rare and out-of-print music by American harsh-noise pioneer Skin Crime, issued by Dominick Fernow’s Hospital Productions. It consists of 20 CDs of material clocking in at more than 20 hours of pure bliss, and it’s packaged with enough artwork to get you through it all.
Dedekind Cut, $uccessor If you’re into ambient, spirituality, or new age, then you’ll probably find $uccessor (also a Hospital Productions release) to be quite the musical experience. Dedekind Cut is the experimental project of New York-based producer Fred Welton Warmsley III, formerly known as Lee Bannon. I was blown away by this album, and I’m looking forward to future efforts.
Deftones, Around the Fur I own a good number of CDs, and most of them aren’t lucky enough to get played on the regular. I do my best to pull out a few every so often, but honestly they mainly just collect dust. However, the surface of this 1997 Deftones CD has been getting some use lately, if you know what I mean—so what the hell, I popped Around the Fur in my laptop to reminisce about what 17-year-old me used to listen to while smashing mailboxes and peeing in unlocked parked cars with so-called friends. Still pretty heavy. I’ve definitely left many things in the past, but this album ain’t one of them.