Wednesday, 19 November 2014

It's Desperately Useless Eating A Bleeding Moon

When getting right into the new Acid Baby Jesus release, I went through the Slovenly Records collection to see what else had been floating through their fetid waters recently (as I tend to miss a few the first time around). I stumbled across Desperate Living, the three track 7" that Memphis/San Fran garage gargantuans Useless Eaters put out in June (you can still get copies of it here). This kind of spat punk has remained fresh since Buzzcocks were just babes in the gutter, and the title track is a mainline-hit (the riff is a simple addiction, whilst the keys are especially 50s sci-fi glory). The other two tracks continue to lose the plot and steal minds - 'Dungeon' is a rusted spike through the brain, and 'I Think She Wants To Find Out' goes deep into the garage, neck on the mouldy couch with the stuffing leaking out onto the floor.

It's great but just a precursor to their new album (out through usual suspect Castle Face) Bleeding Moon. 'Dungeon' makes another appearance here, two seconds shorter and with a few flakes of rust chiseled off the edges - yet despite this, the album is both a mud map of new horizons for the band and an altogether different beast (as should be expected to be honest - the 7" is the perfect medium to be experimental, slapdash and loopy). A much more concerted effort has been taken on groove (think of better word...) whilst spicing the brew with an angular anxiety and aggression that has been largely missing in previous UE releases. 'American Cars' takes us straight away towards more elongated, heavy jams (at three-and-a-half minutes it's already three times the size of half their output), the constant snarl added a flinty rigidity that feels like Fu Manchu covering Wire through an MC5-and-mud-caked prism. 'Aftershock' is a sci-punk bubble blast recorded inside a Styrofoam shell, half-eaten burgers dripping down the walls; 'Retro Hoax' is throwing brass-knuckle punches out of the gate. 'Whip' eats a heavier load but could be an Eddy Current attempt at a dirge. The current profligeration of glam rock a la T-Rex to permeate garage inflections continues here on 'Out In The Night', yet there is still a sneering antipathy here, as if Seth Sutton and co. could either serenade you or glass you - most likely both simultaneously. It's a hedonistic miasma of all scuzz no fucks - 'Sitting On The Fault Lines', 'Walking In Circles' and 'Hidden Fees' (my favourite tracks) have that low rider bent to them, but also are spun out psych rock grunts that could just as well follow you home in the middle of the night... The thing is, and it's a Sutton trademark, Bleeding Moon never feels fatally dangerous - more deliriously so. Therefore you can justify losing your shit without wondering if someone was going to take your face off. Everyone wants to smash shit up then drink the bar dry, go home and do it again. No anarchy, just a good ol fashioned fuckaround. What more can a punk ask for?

Bleeding Moon is out now -  get it here - and in true manic Castle Face spirit, you can own it in their "Glass Half Full vinyl" (half white, half clear) - it looks amazing.

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