Friday, September 18, 2009

Half Japanese - loud (1981)

A sprawling, spazztastic nerdcore no-wave attack, backed by a competent band that veers in off-kilter free-jazz and damaged ethnic mayhem (two saxophones, two drum-sets), occasionally revisiting the Pere Ubu-esque modern dance in a more dissonant form ("Gift"), and of course the Beefheart-ian damaged blues ("I Know How It Feels. Bad."), and further enhanced by the vitriolic lyrics. Get it here.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Butthole Surfers - rembrandt pussyhorse (1986)

Arguably, their masterpiece. "Creep In The Cellar" served as a timid introduction, turning just a bit more sinister and damaged in "Sea Ferring", more than ever applying their art-damaged punk aesthetics to a broader American context, not urban, but modern rural, as if freak redneck farmers from Texas living in their own decadent incestuous microcosm. An unrecognizable mutilated cover of "American Woman" supported this impression, veering into psychedelic tribal chaos, while later resembling a mutant electro-rap. "Waiting For Jimmy To Kick" revisited the debut's acid-punk from another perspective, more sound-effect laden, with more ambitious arrangements, no less severe, no less drug-fueled.

Ever increasing the intensity, "Strangers Die Everyday" was a delirious requiem, an organ mass gurgling in a lake of LSD, creating nightmares. In "Perry" they paid tribute to their godfathers, Chrome and their supersonic acid punk-rock, albeit from an american populist defunkt robotic point of view. Then "Whirling Hall of Knives" assumed the form of a vibrant raga, glowing as if splattered with radioactive waste, marching and ponderous, self-transcendental amidst the miasmatic atmosphere. It was a recipe that got more rarified in "Mark Says Alright", before turning to a disorienting and abstract nightmare in the reprise of "In The Cellar". Get it here.