Followed by Static, The Snake Trap, Explosion Horse, Naw Dude, Bulemics, TV Torso, and Transmorgraphy
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., July 31, 2009
Local vinyl production rises with summer temperatures, apparently, and singles always outpace LPs. Followed by Static pressed 100 white vinyl 7-inches on Rare Dust Records, and their eventual collectibility correlates directly to the Austin duo's breakout with "Lullaby" b/w "AADC." The A-side illustrates why 45s were conceived in the first place, a plaintive Vaselines-like melody thickened by My Bloody Valentine distortion and strummed against a squall. The vocal could be off a Clash demo in terms of its long ago, faraway sonic London fog. B-side "AADC" would hold its own against a Black Angels' Vietnam protest, this one led by howling Golden Boys axe wielder John Wesley Coleman. "The latest ACG release, probably the coolest," according to local Australian Cattle God wranglers, might very well be a 12-inch split from the Snake Trap and Transmography on cream-orange vinyl. The run of 500, designed by Chronicle best-of Sandy Carson, warps heavy desert instrumentals and hot-oil basslines from the former act, provocatively named opener "John Denver Dies in Clash" the standout. The latter duo writes Germanic computer code that bridges its 1970s/1980s rockist string bending, chanting, "Break out of your cocoon" on leading lumber "Pupa," while "Nanyte" bobs like the Octopus Project on Quaaludes. Conversely, a clear-orange vinyl six-song 7-inch by Explosion Horse on Insect Records jitters with New Wave epilepsy as if the Ritalin didn't help at all, "Jennifer Connelly" and "Tupac's Herpes" spazz. "What You Tasted Like" smears the vocal but cleans up its hyperactivity. Depleted Resource, which brought the Mammoth Grinder LP, delivers hand silk screened cover art on a Lone Star Beer 24-pack for Naw Dude's one-sided 45, its hardcore clatter and burst lo-fi and primal. "Shark Mummy" almost takes a breath before "Red Dawn II" goes off like a cluster bomb. Blind white fury "Shit Stained Glass" obliterates tears for Naw Dude antecedents the Teeners. Self-proclaimed "masters of substance-fueled stupidity," the Bulemics go Euro distribution on the four-song Burn Baby Burn (Scarey Records), the long-running local punk quintet evoking Dee Dee Ramone's mid-1980s yawp. A ripe cover of Motley Crüe's "Red Hot" screeches behind a Tommy Lee beat and City of Angels chorus. Finally, a matching pair of singles from TV Torso, Sound Team frontman Matt Oliver's new flat-screen, offers "The Black Mask" b/w "The Eye in the Pyramid" in a black sleeve and "Days of Being Wild" b/w "I Can See Your Face" in white. Both suffer from DIY production muffle, "Days of Being Wild" also undercooked, but "I Can See Your Face" mulches melodies straight out of Yellow Submarine-era Beatles, and "The Black Mask" channels Ray Davies, as does its flip side. Each comes with a free download card for the whole album. This is your summer to sit and spin.