Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Die Kreuzen circa 1983

I found this on another blog (Introverted Loudmouth) but I thought I'd post it here since you can never get enough Die Kreuzen. Seriously.

This is from a TV appearance from around 1983.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

RECORDS! Deadbeats, Deadfly Ensemble, Martial Canterel, the Hunt

With this latest update, I have to make the following admission: I rather dislike writing reviews. For the most part, the releases I'm going to be writing about have been in my possession for a while. I've listened to them numerous times, enjoyed listening to them, and then proceeded to put off writing anything in the way of a review. While I'd like share them with whoever might wander on here and add a few of my musings, I hardly care to offer anything in the way of an assessment of them. To assuage this difficulty somewhat, I'll adopt a more conversational tone and "tell you" about these releases. Does it amount to a big difference?? Probably not, but nonetheless....

Recently the semi-nomadic duo known as Deadbeats (having moved from the Carolinas to Portland and then back again) put out a third CD entitled "99 Ways to Die" on their own Recluse Records label. Their two previous efforts left a good impression, but I'm finding this one their most impressive yet. Searing synthesizer lines meld together with beats that sound like they might very well be pre-programmed Casio beats. Lauren Stork-Browder handles the vocals and lays it on pretty thick with a shrill wail that might recall moments of later Subtonix. On this disc, there's significantly more low-end, and the added bass suits them and their pulsing beats well. Additionally, the song-writing has gotten more interesting. Definitely something to check out if you've got some Kas Product or Guerre Froide records in your collection. If they continue to improve at this rate, we should be seeing a rather awesome full length from these two at some point in the not-too-distant future. My cats start running around and scratching my couch as soon as I put on this CD, so they seem to enjoy it as well.

Wierd Records, a label I've been making the point of following quite keenly, put out another release. This one is by Martial Canterel, whose mastermind, Sean McBride, seems to be an associate of our Wierd friend Pieter. Obviously very cold-wave influenced and taking cues from a whole tradition of bands from France, Holland, or further eastwards, Martial Canterel masterfully distill those influences to a very catchy and tight concoction updated for the ears of 2008. Personally, I'm taken aback by the fact that this is indeed from New York and not from across the Atlantic. Though, not surprisingly, there is a European connection--most of MC's previous releases made their debut on European labels, and this release compiles some now out of print tracks from a few of those releases (including no small amount of previously unreleased material as well).

It was a sad day late last summer when Yi-Hsiuan and Lucas packed up their horse-drawn carriage and left Montreal for warmer climates. I don't know whether the Bronx and Vermont [Edit: New Hampshire was the correct designation. Apologies!] are that much warmer, but some good has come of it. Yi-Hsiuan now holds monthly parties in downtown Manhattan where attendees dress in antique attire and dance to the sounds of the roaring 30's (the current financial crisis might make it all the more appropriate), and Luc went and released another Deadfly Ensemble record called "A Seed for Extinct Annuals" with co-conspirators James and Marzia. The instrumentation is much more intricate than on their debut, with more cello and some live percussion adding more depth to the songs. And much as before, one feels inclined to daydream along with the stories the music tells. This one will do nicely.

I got this next disk a while ago, having scored some copies from the label's honcho Caleb. It's now called Sacred Bones Records, but the Hunt's debut 7" came out while it was still called "Monster Squad." My money is on watching this label closely, as they've already released a Blank Dogs 12" right before everyone started talking about them, and now they've got Factums, Daily Void, and Pink Noise records on the way, AND some 13th Chime reissues. As to this piece of wax, it's emblazoned with a picture of a guy who looks like he belongs in a Southern Death Cult video and sports a nice Discharge tattoo. As for the music-- the Southern Death Cult reference isn't too far off, and it's done quite nicely. Incredibly competent, you might even say. There's some nice Morricone-meets-Theatre of Hate guitar work, and the singer can really wail. I can't say much beyond that, since they seemed to debut in New York right when I left town, and these 2 tracks are all I've heard. But I will say, where a lot of current post-punk outfits tend towards some vaguely Joy Division-inflected pop songs, the Hunt don't shy away from grounding their tunes in some fist-pumping rocknroll.

Labels: , , , , , ,