ST 37

I'm Not Good (Cleopatra)

Texas Platters

ST 37

I'm Not Good (Cleopatra)

The only characteristic that sticks to ST 37 remains inscrutability. Since lifting off 28 years ago from Austin's short-lived Vietnamese restaurant/avant-punk haven Dong Huong, the Chrome-monikered quintet has dodged convention like it was an errant asteroid. Even so, I'm Not Good bears a back-to-Eden vibe with primitive production recalling ST 37's early cassette releases. "Down on Us" opens on bucolic nighttime nature sounds that deceptively preface descent into a black-light basement redolent of body odor and expired vitamins. Drummer Lisa Cameron holds down a hypnotic beer-n-ether groove while guitarists Joel Crutcher and Bobby Baker crack open a new dimension with pedal-heavy exploration. Fuzzed-out riffs and dysfunctional synth burbles somehow give way to a toe-tapping rendition of Dobie Gray's "The 'In' Crowd." "Eroica Horns" takes an industrial turn with five minutes of hair-raising noise assault. "Magnetic Amphibian Hydrated Gills" juxtaposes Middle-earth blues and muddy hardcore. Untethered outsider conviction seizes the day once more.

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