Saturday, 8 November 2014

Hits From The Box #90 - Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Me!

The title says it all really - instead of seeing Trans Am tonight, I am babysitting my friends' little boy tonight. I never really did the kidsit thing as a teenager - so the temptation to get the kid to bed so I can have a makeout session with the prom queen or whatever is high. But I am a long way from those years and cliches - so I aim to drink a bottle or two of wine, order some pizza and watch It's Always Sunny In Philadephia. On my Saturday night too. Life is wild, eh? Check out Dave Duchovny and Christina Applegate up there. That is me, RIGHT NOW.

I'm not sure if I have mentioned Atlanta punks Dasher before, although I discovered them through this here blog a year or so ago. The trio, led by drummer/vocalist Kylee Kimbrough, meld the 90s grunge wail with a punk march punch, and 'Soviet' is a solid track that indicates that these guys don't take prisoners. But I am more of a fan of the sludge trawl and gnashing of teeth that is 7" Bside 'Teeth'. Make up your own mind - the release is out now through the excellent Suicide Squeeze stable.

Manchester native A'Lune has put out a beautiful EP on Echolalia Records that will soundtrack many an early morning epiphany. Tidings is made up of two main contemplative tracks, 'Somewhere, 20:22' and 'An Ending Of Sorts', with the navel-gazing 'Interlude' bridging the two. It's the kind of post-rock that Explosions In The Sky fans will lap up - meaning this will fuel my creative-writing-&-gin sessions for a while...

Londoner Syd Kemp released a pretty great EP earlier this year in The Horror, and I am only getting into it now. Now that I am a "Londoner" (*shudder*), hopefully Ill get along to one of his shows. 'As I Don't Get It' is a woozy, distorted-vocal pop ooze that is dark and light, layered as it is with trumpets and sax and a juxtaposed undertone of humility and hubris - it's an enigmatic home-run. This lovely sense of discombobulated disorientation continues throughout the EP - it's like stumbling in from the blistering cold to a tavern out of time, out of whack, yet a hazy cocoon from the harshness of the outside world. Curl up and bask in its warmth.

Another otherworldly delight is Surplus Behaviour, the new cassette from Melbourne's Mark Barrage. It's a journey that starts out with ruminative organ and sharp drum beats ('Sez Batter'), swinging via subterranean starlight ('Split Organs') to more epileptic computer glitch and snap ('Slow Epilepsy', 'Dead Badger', 'Barrage V'). The title track is an 8-bit funereal orgasm in a grimy apocalypse; 'He's My Dad' takes the innocuous, even humorous name into slightly unnerving terrain; 'Hestisol' plays out like having tinnitus and a heart murmur (somehow a good thing here); 'Pitcher' stutters along in an ambient shuffle down a wall of mirrors; 'Doom Sore' bleeds into a rampant side-scroll epiphany; then closes out full-circle with the surreptitious 'Hit My Face'. It's an excellent release - get it here (out through Endless Melt).

I think this is our first time in Peru - a country that has held my imagination in thrall since I was a child, obsessed with the Incas - and Plug Plug has insured that this won't be the last. The trio play the kind of frenetic math-punk annihilation that I have always admired in Brisbane's unsung heroes Turnpike (not as feverish and knife's edge anarchic though). This lil EP is a pretty good calling card - lets hope we hear more from these guys soon. Plug Plug is out now through Sweet Tiger Records (home to fellow HFTBers The Face - fingers on pulse here).

I'll finish with this enigmatic NY band, Palmetto Chain. I know next to nothing about them. I only have this song (and another on their Bandcamp, 'Amarillo') to go by. So what 'Hostage' tells me is that its a bottom-of-the-barrel blues dirge, spiralling inexorably into the abyss, a Meth Teeth cut that is clad in leather and better production values although without the skewed humour - yet you can't help but think that Palmetto Chain is laughing at us too. If you know more, let me know.

Happy Saturday everyone!

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