Sunday 30 August 2015

Hits From The Box #112 - Frightful Holidays

I head back to work tomorrow. Grim. Sonic Masala's show last night was good though. Plus it's Frightfest here in London, a showcase of a shedload of horror. Gleefully grim. I saw We Still Live Here on Friday. Plus seeing Nina Forever tomorrow. And in the meantime I'm listening to these bad guys. Sometime horror is the only way to get through the horror. 

Getting the gutter grunt rock on with Leeds' unlikely lads Pink Rick. A Different Species? You better believe it. Two tracks of vitriol, venom and vinegar. It's like they wrote these songs just for me. The B-side 'MF Giger' doesn't have the gnarled snarl of the title track, preferring to get their drone dirge on, which is just as great. Come to London, now.

Long Beach weirdo Shivering Window gets his lo-fi echo-laden creep on with 'Dreaming of Su Tissue'. An indie rock gem that has been cast into a corrosive pit and crawled back bitter and strange, the soul just visible through the hiss and sputter. This really gets here for the muted music that underpins 'Let's Make The Old School Into Our Castle' - its a disturbing beat that still has plaintive vocals wrestling it into something more aesthetically pleasant.

Boston punks Aneurysm blow out the speakers on their new Stop This Ride EP. I haven't heard any searing protopunk much at all this year, so this has been a detonation of fresh blood and viscera. You need something to soundtrack cathartic displays of violence on stationary objects and your friends? This fits the bill, and then some. Full throttle Bronx brutality.

Beijing bastards Cat Aids have tacked seven thrashy punk bilge pump tracks to a twenty minute demented cut from equally well-monikered DJ Urine. With these names you are never going to take them seriously - with cover art of a shark fucking a vomiting pink unicorn (who loves it) you know these boys are deranged. 'Zen & the Art of Bad Manners' is simple but all the more balltearing when it explodes; while 'Miao Tian' shows some dark noise tendencies that go beyond the blasted hardcore undertones here (they still pop a few veins though). 'Selfish Nation' is almost their pop song - Blur x The Fall by the way of Ian Dury and Comets On Fire. Jesus

Canadians Tough Age start out as fluffy, fuzzy punk pop (in the great, Superchunk way) on new record I Get The Feeling Central, but there are tracks here that show a more Hives-breaking alter ego, like on the brawling 'The Gutter Lemon', the bruised surf instrumental 'Landau, Luckman & Lake' and the hammered hip-shaker 'New Orleans Square'. The album licks the heels and kicks the sand into most variants of rock history with total disregard of the consequence. Great stuff.

The cover art alone for this last entry is enough to garner a horror tip of the hat, evoking as it does the cream of the pagan horror crop (I'm thinking The Wicker Man and to a lesser extent Kill List - not a lesser film, mind, just not exactly a pagan horror film, but then it is...just see it, it's brilliant). Evil Blizzard (see? They even have evil in their name!) have an eight-minute prog psych blast with 'Sacrifice'. The metallic production and theatricality of the song usually would ward off any interest, but there is something about the plodding repetition and vocals here that hypnotize me.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

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