Dye and New Berlin
Savages With Power, "Basic Function" b/w "Mountaintop", "New Eyes" b/w "The Drawback"
Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, Fri., Oct. 21, 2016
DyeSavages With Power (Super Secret Records)
New Berlin“Basic Function” b/w “Mountaintop” (Self-Sabotage/Sonic Surgery)
“New Eyes” b/w “The Drawback” (Self-Sabotage/Sonic Surgery)
"End Police Recruitment. Kill the Klan," reads the back of Dye's Savages With Power EP, eight minutes of anarcho-hardcore punk from Austin's writhing underground. The pigs have forever been in punk's crosshairs, often resulting in genre staples such as Doom's classic Police Bastard 7-inch. Dye's clear 33 rpm vinyl spins with comparable chaos. "Boys in Blue" assails law enforcement with a virulent "Grind me down! Boys in blue! I hate you!" "Nuthin Left," spiked with red-line bass, zooms out societally, draining and disgusting Jon Dye so much he lets out a "blech" at song's end. Recalling a vocally lo-fi Aus-Rotten, the title track further stomps badges, sealing the wax endeavor with a warning: "Savages with power – after me, after you!" Local patron to the DIY arts, Richard Lynn's 15-year-old Austin imprint Super Secret Records – now boasting two offshoots, Self-Sabotage (experimental) and Sonic Surgery (reissues) – also dishes a clear, square, lathe-cut, double A-side 7-inch from McAllen trio New Berlin. "Basic Function" wakes you to their power-pop/garage-rock mixture with Fuckemos-style down-tuned vocals, guitarist/vocalist Michael Flanagan breaking down into menacing, spoken word declarations ("Proceed with caution"). It's an immaculate track – lyrically strange and musically sturdy – that complements New Berlin's downtempo cover of underrated 2003 Daniel Johnston gem "Mountain Top," offering a callous delivery on the love-struck lyrics. Doubling down on the young act is another intriguing platter: a pure white flexi disc. The paper-thin non-vinyl spins a raw angle of New Berlin via pounding garage cut "New Eyes," pondering the enlightenment of apathy before digging up a post-punk nugget, their ramshackle version of "The Drawback" by Warsaw (Joy Division). Not as compelling as "Basic Function," its influence primer proves effective. Appropriately, flexis were originally made from discarded X-rays.