I'm Not Good (Cleopatra)
Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., Feb. 20, 2015
ST 37I'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.