We Jam by Condos

We Jam by Condos (Monofonus Press)

Texas Platters

Titular nod to the Minutemen, this exemplary local compilation bottles a moment in musical time. Eleven Austin acts explore the bleeding edge of avant-punk, electronic, and noise against a backdrop of top-heavy economic prosperity threatening to banish the vaunted "weirdness" that helped summon homegrown vibrancy in the first place. Ghetto Ghouls' "Plants" sets the tone with droll, herky-jerk repetition, upending the hedonic treadmill with a takedown of the "We're an American Band" hagiography. The bristles and skitters become even more pronounced on Spray Paint's "Creepers." Hidden Ritual's unstoppable "Judy" builds a surf-pop riff into a thwacked-out shadow play directed by Alan Vega before Soft Healer deepens the mystery with the post-punk/psychedelia reconciliation "End of the Chain." Sleek synth collective Survive ends side one with the soundtrack-worthy "Relays." Side two's darker, more disjointed veneer takes disparate form in Shit & Shine's rhythmic disk-crasher, "Bike Lane," and Breakout's one-minute hardcore sweatbox, "Punishment Capital." The all-out noise assault of Aunt's Analog's "I Saw You in a Dream" makes an appropriate fin de siècle. Blast this from your windows at 4am and watch property values sink like a stone.

****

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