7 & 7 Is

Among the slowcore, lowcore, and snorecore bands -- just make that the Bedhead set -- Austin's American Analog Set may be the best. In fact, their recent, red-vinyl single on the Trance Syndicate imprint, Emperor Jones, seems more zoned on early Pink Floyd than anything else and the results are one of the best local singles this year. The Water Margin's clear-vinyl 7-inch (Framed Records!), plies a similar hypnosis, veering towards atmospheric, early-Eighties English sadcore, but unfortunately the Houston-by-way-of-UT band has a vocalist who's trying to be David Yow, and that's something the Jesus Lizard frontman himself can barely get away with. Polio's new self-released single, "Castration"/"Trencher's Job" exhibits similar problems, with the local quartet going whole hog on the Lizard and Scratch Acid sound, while the liner-noted "vox obtuse," Yuri Campbell, is just that. Another local punk/hardcore band, Direction, is unapologetically late-Eighties American progressive thrash, and while their grooves start/stop in all the right places, their singer -- political agenda or no -- isn't doing the band any favors either. That's on the Ballyhoo Withdrawl label. Even less is going on with Nipple 5's vocalist Danny Ray Texas or the band's watered-down take on hardcore, so neither of their two self-released singles are anything but well-packaged. And before I start sounding like a broken you-know-what with this bad-singer business, let me just say that as warped as my copy of Myra Manes' Monkey Boy single, "Schwag Bag" b/w "Leroy" is, it still sounds as good as their Tallboy's recent single on the same label. Besides, "schwag" (loot) is close to any reviewer's heart, as is punk rock with hooks and melody, and Myra Manes have supplied me with both.
-- Raoul Hernandez

[Trance: POB 49771, Austin, TX, 78765; Framed: POB 49961, Austin, TX 78765; Ballyhoo: POB 281, Flint, TX 75762-0281; Nipple 5: 6904 Cherry Meadow Dr., Austin TX, 78745; Monkey Boy: 7311 S. Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78745]

"7 &7 Is" reviews all local and national singles. Send to "7&7 Is," The Austin Chronicle, PO Box 49066, Austin, TX 78765

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