Breakdancing Ronald Reagan
Breakdancing Ronald ReaganJ.C. (Confessions of a Cyberbully) (CTC Records)
There's no wrong way to enjoy music, but can wrong music be enjoyed? J.C. (Confessions of a Cyberbully), the seventh album from Breakdancing Ronald Reagan, demonstrates that songs without beauty can at least be better than sitting alone in your shitty apartment. Austin noise veteran Johnathan Cash wields a bargain-bin mixer to make harsh textures. Voice mail, rap, child babble; everything's sampled, screwed, and chopped in a power electronics blender to create terrifying – and comedic – atmospheres. A cheap MIDI karaoke machine recurs throughout the album's covers ("Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" "Semi-Charmed Life"), sailing through shrill noise to offer a welcome reprieve of melody, albeit with the ring of cruel parody. "Untitled (ft. Blessed Thistle)" and "Air Horn (Club Sample)" exhibit Cash's power to tame harsh static, making it soar, expand, bubble, and blossom, while never staying still. In "Skit (skit)," one of the gentler tracks, awkward bedroom guitar plays over a message left by Bart Simpson's voice actor to promote some car sale. Like much of the album, it's conceptual and hyper-ironic. Target of the joke: music, himself, you?