Into the Country (12XU)
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Dec. 13, 2019
The country of Into the Country – maybe avant-garde Austin trio Spray Paint's fifth studio full-length – isn't Neil Young's country. More like a bullet train between unnamed Southeast Asian metropolises. The faster you rocket forward, the more it feels like you're traveling back in time, back to the industrial age of Fritz Lang, Ridley Scott, George Jetson. Drum machines, tensile electronics, and post-millennial accusations and repercussions – a de-evolutionized, dystopian present: Devo, Suicide, London 1976 – spill "Alcohol Surface." "Keep On Googlin'" leaps straight off your favorite Kraftwerk LP, its percussive hall of mirrors echoing beats and bangs, pots and pans, and a pleasingly elevated heart rate. The back end starts to rust on blanding throb and thumps ("Looking for Work") and blah tempos ("Bed Death"), but the Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! careen of closers "Can't Help But Kill" and "Cleaning Your Gun," well, kills. On second thought, consider Into the Country the equivalent to Neil Young's 1982 vocoder hovercraft Trans.