Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Pink Noise - Live on WFMU

Montreal's (formerly Toronto's) The Pink Noise just did a live session & interview this weekend live on WMFU while they were in NYC doing a handful of shows with Gary War.

Just scroll down in the playlist til you see it and click the mp3 button to listen.

Description: The first live visit to WFMU from the mysterious Montreal combo that's been churning out an assortment of basement synth/sci-fi/punk weirdness over the last few years on such imprints as Kill Shaman, Almost Ready, and Sacred Bones. Cheap Korg and Moog synths, tape recorders, drum machines, and guitars, Suicide/Chrome love in the air. Tracks today: Huntsman / Micro / Treasure of the Arabian Nights / Oh Caroline / T Rex / Love For Sale.

Monday, July 27, 2009


This is a 2 part post with the other half being posted at the BLACK FONTANELLE blog. I've been filming bands here in Richmond, VA this summer. Some of the footage is a little dark but that's because we have shows in dark sushi restaurants, dark pool-halls, and semi-dark bowling alleys. Here's a look into our seedy world:

Here's Houston, TX grime rapper B L A C K I E :

Next up is local FLISHman, the amazing LEO HEINZEL:

Ah yes! Now it's time for the documented proof of the existence of SPIRITFINGERS:

I actually didn't film this one because I'm in this band but, SpiritFinger, Patrick Killingsworth filmed this on my camera. I give you BERMUDA TRIANGLES:

For the other half of this post, simply click HERE!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


One of the truest noise-rock innovators going, the six years strong Mouthus hammer out a distinct primordial sound and consistently evolve at a wild rate—from primitive, pounding beginnings to the serenest sonic surroundings of currents.

First united in Brooklyn, NY, drummer / electronics wizard Nate Nelson (solo project: Afternoon Penis) and vocalist / guitarist / keys lord Brian Sullivan (solo project: Eskimo King) may be split geographically between Baltimore (Nelson) and Brooklyn (Sullivan) nowadays, but their prolific discography continues to grow, with a wow-inducing 26 sonic offerings so far.

Mouthus’ triumphant full-length newbie for Ecstatic Peace!, DIVISIONALS, is but a few months fresh. The two were also just recently out on a brief east-coast tour with the Magik Markers that revealed Mouthus to be as deep in the electric mother current as ever. With 2009 firmly held down as another thunderous year in the Mouthus pantheon, reflecting on precisely what the band has been through and accomplished on the recorded side of their noisy coin feels like a pretty good idea.

MOUTHUS (Psych-O-Path #6 CD) 2003

It all begins here with a thunderous, primitive drum roll paving the way for a lightning-crash of cymbals and a down-torrent of guitar hail and whipping vocal winds. This CD-only album for the now-defunct label once run by Brian and Nate’s buddy Igor is the most singular and unabashedly straight-up rock-influenced recording Mouthus have released. This collection of 4-track barnburners captures a fresh band storming out the cosmos’ gates with no shortage of riveting ideas, making it the proverbial opening up of the otherworldly groove the band was about to plunge headlong into.

Like nearly all of the band’s output, MOUTHUS was recorded at the band’s rehearsal space (lovingly Christened The Tarpit), and has a relentlessly assaulting and somewhat claustrophobic feel to it. And I mean claustrophobic in a good way—Nate’s cymbals crash as though they’re imploding, and distorted bursts of overdubbed noise-shards whip by like tornado-thrown debris.

The dark chaos so exuberantly blasting off throughout MOUTHUS translates perfectly into the album’s cover art, which bares Nate’s psychedelic yet primitive line-and-shade drawings amidst the shadows of Brian’s photocopy treatments. Sullivan explained how the band recorded a massive amount of material for this album and cherry-picked the final track list, and even he himself had to wonder what forgotten lore lies stowed away on some long-buried treasure of 4-track tapes… Some of this unused material would find its way onto later releases, but Sullivan insists about 80 % of Mouthus’ entire collection of privately recorded work remains unreleased. Labels interested in releasing a box set of this stuff should politely hound the band to let them do it—though these are my rabid fan wishes, and don’t necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of the band members themselves, all rights reserved.

LOAM (Ecstatic Peace! Records + Tapes E#34b LP) 2004

Things really took flight for Mouthus on LOAM. It seemed like all of the pieces were now firmly in place—they acquired an 8-track for all future recordings, Thurston Moore’s esteemed label was getting behind them this time around, and the music they were making was expanding and refining quite natrually. I’ve often told Brian that LOAM sounds like it was recorded in the dead of summer on a massive outdoor stage set up in a vacant desert, and I stand by the analogy; LOAM sounds absolutely huge, absolutely pummeling, and absolutely unstoppable. Sullivan insists he prefers the unreleased digital, CD-intended masters of LOAM, but I can’t imagine listening to this juggernaut on anything but vinyl. Especially suited for 12” format is the tattoo-like album art, which Brian adapted from an installation piece Nate created for an exhibition.

If MOUTHUS revealed a new talent brimming over with promise, LOAM made good on that promise and then some. It was an exciting time for noise-rock, and Mouthus now found themselves among the forefront of a movement intent on discovering new sounds and new modes, no matter what the cost. It was time for their audience to expand from underground interest to underground sensation. It might not ever be possible for a band so unique and challenging to truly breakthrough to wide acceptance, but in a time when so-called indie rock was becoming safe and suburban enough for Starbucks and Apple to drop big dough on, it was refreshing to witness two scruffy dudes with barely kempt hair soaring straight on into new stratospheres.

BIGGER THROWS (Our Mouth #1 CD-R EP) 2005

In 2005 the creative expansion went further, and the prolific output increased. The band saw the need to launch their own CD-R label and debuted it with an EP’s worth of some of the finer ghosts haunting Mouthus’ vaults. Geared toward being both an outlet for their own music as well as that of their friends, the Our Mouth editions are essentially open-ended but generally capped around an initial run of 200 copies per release.

Rough and almost industrial, BIGGER THROWS is another strong step into fresh terra firma as well as a foreshadowing of some of the band’s future explorations. Brian’s wall of guitars and effects sounds more chewed and mangled than ever and Nate’s drumming more frenetic and stifling in its meticulously detailed and subtle electronic treatment. BIGGER THROWS remains precisely what its title suggested—a widening of ambitions, a strong promise that this band was showing no signs of restraint in its quest to lay waste musical barriers. Even Nate’s cover art line-drawing is reminiscent of plant life bursting forth from nowhere… As if even they were well aware this was still only the beginning.

AXOLOTL / MOUTHUS / SKATERS: LIVE AT KDVS 90.3 FM, SACRAMENTO, CA, 3-25-2005 (Our Mouth Records #2 CD-R EP) 2005

Always up for a collaborative affair or a jam if the setting is right, Mouthus are one band that works well with others. The first collaboration to see the light of day was this fine monster jam workout between Mouthus, lo-fi psych-drone duo Skaters and one-man electro-drone experimenter Axolotl, or Karl Bauer, the dude who actually first introduced Brian and Nate and was an originally projected third member of Mouthus before relocating to the west coast and leaving the two quite literally to their own devices. The three buzz units were rolling around on tour when this swell college radio station decided to set them up with some good equipment and quality airtime. The three inventors originally intended to record three separate sets, but once they were all gathered at the station and time became of the essence it was decided they should all just set up and go for it together. LIVE AT KDVS is the document of this one-off collaboration, and it’s a mighty fine one. So many tones growing and converging, remaining distinct yet bending to each other’s gentle guidance—it’s a sea of tranquil togetherness.

SLOW GLOBES (Troubleman Unlimited #154 LP & CD) 2005

Word was spreading fast about what Mouthus were cooking up both on record and in concert, and the hipsters were starting to buzz. Brooklyn hipster label extraordinaire Troubleman Unlimited wanted a piece of the action, and so it was SLOW GLOBES that became Mouthus’ first widely available dual-format release. As the story goes, it’s the album that most casual listeners and hipsters heard, and the one that many judged the merits of the band upon, successfully weeding out the ones who understood Mouthus from the ones who couldn’t grasp it.

Creatively, it captures the band settling into an almost contemplative state. Many compositions on SLOW GLOBES expand at their own pace, and the mood it casts is not exactly easy to digest—it’s a dark, slow, baffling and bold album, filled with almost sordid sonic tensions and emotions, and easily the most varied and challenging effort Mouthus had by then released. No wonder it effectively set the band apart from nearly everything else going on at the time—wordless figures elongate and are jarred back into place, electronic sub-rhythms dirge along, and almost anything with a hook or discernible melody to it is left for the second half of the album. Anyone looking for the latest post-rock or post-punk flavour of the month would have surely been sent running to cash this in at the nearest used record store. But for anyone with an open third ear, SLOW GLOBES is a true opus that stands as timeless testament to the exploratory nature of the band. It also opens with Mouthus’ only cover song to date, “Storms”, which was adapted from the Stevie Nicks composition on Fleetwood Mac’s epic and drugged-out TUSK.

To make things even more baffling and inaccessible, the LP was mistakenly released without its intended insert, which contains all of the song titles and relevant information; LP fans were left with a wordless entry containing ghostly, often alienating and very moody compositions housed in two very confounding images (the back cover taken from a short film Brian created before the band formed). The release of the CD version was stalled by an error in manufacturing the artwork (the front and back covers were wrongly reversed and had to be corrected), but all troubles aside SLOW GLOBES still succeeded in bringing Mouthus to more ears than ever before, and further deepened their profound vision. Summer was high, and hopes were climbing. It was time for Mouthus to ascend to the heights of the giants.

MOUTHUS / DOUBLE LEOPARDS (Troubleman Unlimited #158 LP) 2005

This “Tour Split” LP was issued in a limited edition for the two bands to sell on their joint tour and came housed in a wonderful die-cut screen-printing, and this time around Troubleman didn’t have any trouble at all—all went well in terms of artwork, and the LP sold out very quickly. The glorious, grinding sidelong contribution from Mouthus, “Growing Up the Giants”, is a roasted chestnut recorded in the same era as LOAM. Brian’s vocals reverberate over Nate’s disjointed rhythms, and the gurgling guitar carries the strangulated tune. Brian doesn’t know whose cat that is, screen-printed in black and white on the Mouthus side of the cover, but he’s pretty sure Nate does.

TOLD BY THE WATER (Our Mouth Records #3 CD-R EP) 2005

Another self-released EP, TOLD BY THE WATER contains two epic tracks from somewhere amidst the sessions for LOAM and SLOW GLOBES. Part of the Mouthus creative process lies in setting down spontaneous compositions, then going back over the recordings and fine-tuning their compositions into structural forms. Amidst such fervor and spirit, there is much spontaneity, so even Sullivan himself sometimes gets foggy as to where and when certain songs came from. But part of the fun of recording is going back over old tapes and finding what magic might have come from all those late nights in the past, and TOLD BY THE WATER is a complementing pair of but two of those treats held over from such processions.

MOUTHUS AND VALERIE ALLEN (Our Mouth Records #4 CD-R) 2005

During a few weeks in 2005 Mouthus met up with Brooklyn vocalist and friend Valerie Allen for a number of rehearsal space sessions. The result is a transcendent album-length collaboration comprised of four extensive tracks where Mouthus’ churning rhythms and primitive grooves are met with Allen’s swirling and atmospheric spiritual canonizing. The end result could stand as Mouthus most psychedelic and shamanic moment, coming off something like a peyote trip running hard through the jungle.

MOUTHUS & AXOLOTL: 12 / 25 / 04 (Olde English Spelling Bee #3 LP) 2005

The first of three Mouthus LP’s Olde English Spelling Bee would issue in a single year, this sublime collaboration between old friends and band mates Karl Bauer (a.k.a. Axolotl) and Brian and Nate was recorded on Christmas Day in Brooklyn. The two sidelong improvisations find the impromptu trio exploring their most dominantly electronic grounds so far, undoubtedly inspired by Bauer’s brilliant drone and electronics work. It’s a spacious, mellow affair, with a most trance-inducing effect, and is notable for featuring Nate’s earliest deep Mouthus foray into electronics, away from the drum-kit.

By 2006 Mouthus had splintered into a number of projects while remaining intact—the still-functioning Chaw Mank pairs Brian with the rhythm section from like-minded noise-rock friends and stalwarts Sightings (bassist Richard Hoffman and drummer Jon Lockie); the short-lived White Rock combined Mouthus with the Double Leopards quartet (though it was eventually phased out in favour of Religious Knives, a more rock-oriented group which until recently featured Nate on drums); and joint solo projects—Afternoon Penis is Nate and Eskimo King is Brian. It was only suitable that around this time, collaborative efforts were beginning to emerge on vinyl.

MOUTHUS (Olde English Spelling Bee #2 LP) 2006

Recorded way back in October 2003, Mouthus’ second self-titled release features two hypnotic and harsh sidelong jams from among their very first meetings. The record clearly shows how divided from rock trappings Mouthus were from the get-go, opting more for atmospherics and textures than anything resembling pop music. It’s a strange yet light-shedding addition to the Mouthus catalogue—strange because it predates their debut album yet sounds nothing like it (most obviously for its lack of drums), and light shedding because it exposes how some of the ideas the band had more recently explored were in fact originally conceived and begun at the outset. Released in a limited edition of 350 with two pink cats screen-printed on the blue cover, MOUTHUS gives a heady glimpse into the band’s incubatory period, before they emerged more defined, and as a result should be of interest to any hardcore fan of the band.


The prestigious Music Fellowship label invited Mouthus to curate this curious double LP, which features sidelong contributions from Mouthus, Double Leopards, Matthew Bower’s Sunroof! project and a collaboration between all three camps. It comes housed in Nate’s full-colour cover art and black and white gatefold and label sketches, and features a blistering LOAM-era nugget called “God of Moth”. The collaborative jam on Side Four was culled together from three separate improvisations, with Brian on the mixing board, weaving them into one cohesive and strange work.

MOUTHUS / COUSINS OF REGGAE (Olde English Spelling Bee #6 LP) 2006

The third wonderful OESB release is a split LP between Mouthus and then-Montreal based duo Cousins of Reggae (who were also the first group to be released on Our Mouth), and it’s a match made in heaven (or hell, depending on your preference). Mouthus contribute two brand new songs to their engrossing side: the first, “New Drugz”, is steeped in spraying fuzz and thick sonic muck, with hallowed vocals drifting through the centre of the mix where the percussion usually resides, while the second, “Better Than Facemask”, puts that very percussion first, driving ahead like a three-legged race toward the edge of a cliff. Another limited edition, this one comes with a full-colour insert and individually screen-printed covers.

THE LONG SALT (Important Records #82 CD) 2006

Mouthus fourth album solidified their new sound: pummeling, chaotic, barely controlled whorls of machine-like sounds barreling toward your chest at threatening speeds. Of course these songs are much more controlled and constructed than first impressions and even repeated listening may suggest, but THE LONG SALT captures the move Mouthus had been hinting at and working toward in full flight—industrial percussion, groaning echo-plex vocals, and guitars upon guitars, all seemingly fighting with each other amidst anarchic battles for supremacy. Dense is an understatement for this many-layered silt-shifter of an opus. Imagine some sacred mudflats had been electrocuted, causing new monsters to spring forth, boggy minded and pissed off—THE LONG SALT would be the sound of the ensuing violence. Perhaps Brian’s SLR stills, which don the CD gatefold, capture the polar opposite of this album’s sonic fullness—electrically charged emptiness, which could erupt without warning. THE LONG SALT captures a band in full flight charging ahead unconcerned of what the future may bring, caught up in the moment and absolutely loving it. So strong it heaves mountains aside to taste the fruit of the valleys.

SISTER VIBRATION (Our Mouth Records #9 LP) 2006

Brian and Nate’s next effort would also be the first vinyl release for their Our Mouth label. Sonically, SISTER VIBRATION stands alongside THE LONG SALT but focuses on the band in their wickedly comfortable groove; a bit reeled in, mellowed and settled from the exuberant and explosive LONG SALT. Brian calls SISTER VIBRATION the bands most rock and roll record, perhaps due to its groovy yet no less off-kilter rhythms and hit-it-and-quit-it recording approach. Cut in roughly a single week, SISTER VIBRATION is comprised completely of first takes and favours a bare, raw and lo-fi approach to the more overdubbed and mastered LONG SALT. Consider it a taste of what Mouthus were bringing to their live audiences at the time—repetitive electronically treated hypno-rhythms paired with Brian’s grinding fuzz-currents of effects laden guitar. Straight from the jam space to your frontal lobe, this is Mouthus getting raw with it for all to dig.

FOR THE GREAT SLAVE LAKES (Three Lobed Recordings #29 CD) 2006

Mouthus’ masterful entry into Three Lobed’s Modern Containment mail-order series is a vault-cleaner of monstrous proportions, sequencing together the finest of stray tracks from over the years leading up to and including 2006 into a sentimental journey for and from the ages; an “odds n’ sods” collection as Brian puts it. Sullivan feels the material and overall experience of FOR THE GREAT SLAVE LAKES is a little less chaotic than THE LONG SALT, but far more pummeling, and the CD-only album is impressively cohesive and smooth in its transitions despite being pieced together from so many moods and phases of the band. It should be stated that the notorious 42-minute album closer “Compound My Eyes” is only so long because it moves into a digital lock-groove partway in, rolling out its extended length like a kind of meditative mantra for those who find solace in heavy sludge. The mysterious duplicated album cover is a Polaroid Brian took, and the inside images were created by Nate.

FOLLOW THIS HOUSE (Important Records #121 CD) 2006

Easily the most perplexing of any Mouthus release, FOLLOW THIS HOUSE was recorded before and after the band’s 2006 European tour. The story goes that they recorded the album’s final track, “Half-Thaw”, and realized its kinship with three similarly minimal and sludgy tracks they had recorded the previous year. Once they went back over the older material, they realized the four tracks complemented each other very well and marked a decidedly different direction than their previous releases, and so FOLLOW THIS HOUSE was born. Heaps of overdubs mark the album’s thick, oozing flow, and Brian’s use of keyboards take a more prominent step to the foreground than ever before. With a focus more upon texture and a low-end that punches through their fired up walls of noise and fuzz, the magic is in the details of this album, much like the glistening lights bursting through the volcanic turmoil taking place in the album’s cover art. Many people consider this album Mouthus’ most challenging release, but repeated listens and a carefully attentive attitude are all one needs to appreciate its meticulously overdubbed beauty. Of all the Mouthus albums, this is the one Sullivan finds himself listening to on his own the most, so that’s gotta say something about its artistic achievements and supreme relevance to the Mouthus canon.

MOUTHUS / WOMEN IN TRAGEDY (Wintage Records & Tapes #19 CASS) 2007

Undoubtedly the most rare and obscure Mouthus release, this 100-edition split cassette with Toronto drone-beat innovator Women In Tragedy was the debut in micro-label Wintage’s ongoing Tape of the Month Club series. The Mouthus contribution is “Low Words Said”, a muddy, murky, burbling composition that chugs along, guitar-led with a logic all its own. Stylistically, it could be found right at home on FOLLOW THIS HOUSE, or their next, even more minimal effort. Not even Brian is sure where exactly this recording fits into the Mouthus pantheon, but it is surely a prime selection from their deep vaults.

MOUTHUS (No Fun Productions #18 2LP) 2007

Those who thought Mouthus couldn’t get more challenging or minute in their compositions sure had another thing coming when this double-LP of four extremely minimal sidelong tracks hit the shelves. But for all its apparent simplicity, MOUTHUS was a recording beset with difficulties. Commenced directly after FOLLOW THIS HOUSE was completed, the band spent a lot of time recording new material that they weren’t entirely happy with. They needed time to chill out and get into playing again, but they also had to prepare for another tour. The clock was ticking, but then inspiration struck and they hammered out these four dense, calculated dirges, and a fuzzy breath of fresh air blew into the band’s stratosphere.

Then came the mixing process: Brian wanted to try something new, he had a vision and it took a lot of time and toil to make it come true. He wanted to challenge himself, and he wanted to turn the sonic quality of their recordings onto their own heads, so to speak. With great scrutiny, he did it, and MOUTHUS stands alone as a sonic muck-job (and I mean that as a compliment), where the low-end continuously punches through the mix like bubbles popping in a lava pool. But the difficulties didn’t end here—MOUTHUS was a very tough album to get onto vinyl properly, and it took a number of test pressings before the band was happy with it. In retrospect, MOUTHUS stands as a titan of experimentation, a wrestling match for the senses, and a singular statement all its own.

SAW A HALO (Load Records #103 LP & CD) 2007

Two-inch tape, 24 tracks of studio capability, a $1000 budget provided by Load Records, Samara Lubelski’s skilled hands as co-producer and free run of the Rare Book Room studio for an entire weekend—finally, Mouthus had the sonic world they’d always dreamed of at their fingertips, and they were gonna be damned if they didn’t make the absolute most of it.

SAW A HALO is a masterwork that’s full of surprises, true-to-form band-defining compositions and spontaneous sound-worlds. For starters, it threw a lot of people off with its gentle, clear folk-song opener, “Your Far Church”, but this is merely the beginning. SAW A HALO is ripe with multi-layered magic, and there’s not a spell around they didn’t summon during this monster session.

The story goes that Brian and Nate entered the studio for their lone weekend of recording—two 16-hour days at their full disposal—with the desire to experiment and concoct something as fresh as possible. To best achieve this, they kept their latest batch of songs as skeletal as possible, with only the most basic structures to work from, allowing the studio experience to inspire whatever it may during the process, for maximum spontaneity. The band found itself using even the Rare Book Room’s metallic lamps for percussion, but at the end of the weekend, they only wanted more time to chip away at this grand sculpture of an album they’d only begun to craft. Some gentle explaining to Ben Load ensued, and some time later he agreed to put up another $1000 for them to spend a second weekend recording the shape-shifting opus of a song-cycle SAW A HALO was destined to be.

The album was later mixed in another marathon weekend, done analog style (straight from multiple tapes to master tape), living out the band’s original idea to have the compositions all flow and meld into one another. The result is a head-splitting affair quite unlike anything else the band has ever done, a tome that adds the recording studio to the long list of devices Mouthus have experimented with and mastered on their own terms.

NO CANAL (Bottrop-Boy #28 CD) 2007

Four very different untitled tracks comprise this 250-edition CD release for German label Bottrop-Boy. The opener is a mellow flutes and keyboards evocation, which paves the way for the barn-burning second track, featuring the reversed roles of Brian fiercely pounding the drums and Nate ripping it up on guitar. Track three sorts through the rubble the second created, picking out beautiful emblems that shine in the stillness, and the closing number wheezes gently from smoke inhalation. Brian describes this album as a mish-mash of stuff that made no sense, and tracks the band did for fun during rehearsals and recording sessions. It has been described as Mouthus’ most ambient release, for its gentler leanings, and many fans have told the band it’s among their favourites. Definitely worth tracking down, the CD comes housed in a foldout envelope with a very minimal artwork scheme.

DUAL DRIFT (Our Mouth Records #19 CD-R EP) 2007

Opening with the meditative percussion and keyboards piece, “Pilot Wave”, this fine addition to Mouthus’ self-released catalogue is described by the band as a collection of stuff that stood out from over the years, but which had no home or place on previous releases. The centerpiece of DUAL DRIFT is the 10-minute “There’s a Shifting”, a nose-diving drone exploration that rings with the heavens. “No Bay Return”, a brief untreated guitar and drums mantra, dates back to the SLOW GLOBES sessions. All in all, another fine release culled from Mouthus’ seemingly bottomless vaults.


This super fine stopgap collaboration LP between Mouthus and (sadly, now defunct) Portland guitar and electronics noise duo Yellow Swans, CONAN ISLAND was cut in Chapel Hill studio in October ’06 while the two bands were deep into a joint tour. Brian adapted the wallpaper-like cover art from live photos, and Pete Swanson from the Swans handled the mixing and editing. The two sidelong jams ebb and flow like a project all its own, the two bands commingling into one dense unit of sonic deconstruction. CONAN ISLAND comes recommended for fans of both duos, and straddles the sonic borders between the styles of each respective band.


During their fall ’06 tour, Mouthus and Yellow Swans would often join each other on stage, or during radio show tapings, for some full on jam exploration. This well-recorded LP documentation for the UK No-Fi label finds the two acts converging in fine form amidst the swales of spontaneity, jousting out three lengthy tracks which feature their fair share of chaos, noisy energy and good old “going for it”. Perhaps you could say this one’s for the hardcore Mouthus collectors, but if you’re not a hardcore Mouthus collector, than why be a Mouthus collector at all? Quality jams for the ages, never to be duplicated.

DAYS THROUGH THE COMBINE (Our Mouth Records #21 CD-R EP) 2008

Brian mixed this curious three-song EP together for the band’s 2008 European tour. It features Nate in fully electronic mode and was recorded and overdubbed in three days. The first untitled track is comprised of two takes of the same track playing simultaneously, one in each channel. DAYS THROUGH THE COMBINE witnesses Mouthus in a contemplative, experimental mode, opting more for atmospherics than fire-wielding power—even the shit-storm of fuzz guitar that opens the final track recedes into an ambience of sorts where it might have otherwise attempted to saw off your head.

DIVISIONALS (Ecstatic Peace! Records + Tapes E#34c LP & Digital Download) 2009

The construction of DIVISIONALS is a complex one. The original compositions and backing tracks that fill the two brimming LP sides date back as far as 2006, but all of the overdubs are recent recordings, and more in keeping with where Mouthus have been creatively for the past year or so. The album features Brian performing entirely on keyboards and sampling Nate’s drums while he plays them, and finds Nate further steeped into the realms of his electronic devices. Released by Thurston Moore’s dependable Ecstatic Peace! imprint (their first release for the label since LOAM), DIVISIONALS marks the first Mouthus LP to be officially available for digital download. The album surges forward and serves as a further testament to Mouthus’ growing interest in understatement and atmospherics, while retaining enough punch and grind to rise above the tame trappings of ambience. An engrossing addition to their expanding and prolific discography, DIVISIONALS poises the band with a future that is as truly wide open as the skies above.

EU TOUR SINGULARITY (Our Mouth Records #24 CD-R EP) 2009

It was only a matter of time until Mouthus added a live recordings release to their catalogue, but, in keeping with the band’s tendencies for experimental processes, EU TOUR SINGULARITY is no regular live album. Culled from the finer recordings of their 2008 European tour—specifically, shows in Aalst, Leiden and Paris—SINGULARITY takes a wizard’s mix approach, blending segments from different shows, and layering them inconspicuously into one seamless sonic head-fuck of an experience.

Over Future Horizons:
MOUTHUS / BULBS split LP for Important Records


Monday, July 13, 2009

Forgotten Essentials Volume One

Alien Sex Fiend - "Ignore the Machine" 12" // ASF are ridiculous, beautiful creatures.  Taking a cue from Alice Cooper's live show and pushing it over the top with half the budget and you pretty much hit Bat Cave goth aesthetics on the head of the nail.  I can only imagine how terrifying they would have been to see live in their prime (mid-80's) but if I was able to get through it and not have nightmares I would be impressed with myself.  Dirty, hyped up spook minimalism and a commanding vocal performance is the formula for this single, easily one of their best.  You will hate this and then come to love this on the day you decided nothing else will put you in an awkward enough trance to get through the hours before bedtime.  Still wish I had snagged that autographed copy of "Now I'm Feeling Zombified" at Record City, which was probably the first goth song most of you heard while watching Beavis & Butthead many moons ago.

Hair Police - "Blow Out Your Blood" CD // I bet they hate this record, but it's their take on Negative Approach's live show on a burnt out, dubbed cassette.  "Obedience Cuts" is their best, but this is Hair Police at their most listenable (ha) and straight forwardly brutal.  Overblown pseudo-hardcore muck, like Siege or Deep Wound filtered through Masonna's mind.  

Honey Bane - "You Can Be You" 7" EP // She's adorable and caustic, spewing forth her feminist agenda at unsuspecting "punks" still stuck in old world gender roles.  She sounds 15, and probably was, but this is one of Crass Records' highlights, alongside singles from Zounds and Omega Tribe.  

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Strange Frames & Secret Tones

California Goth is alive and well.  It's all I think about, care about, dream about, and new bands come out of nowhere to some, but to anyone as depressed as I am you tend to not notice a lot of what's going around till it's completely unavoidable.  Secret Tones came into my life randomly via myspace.  They had no drummer but didn't really need one to begin with, as the songs seemed almost darker and awkward without beats nailing any sort of structure to the floor.  I hear little bits of the Cure at their best, Bauhaus at their most intense and Sonic Youth at their noisiest, and I thought I was the only one who thought goth and no wave should live happily ever after wrapped in each others arms and legs.  Check out "Soft Pulse".  Someone needs to release a vinyl by these beautiful, gifted beings.

Strange Frames features Rogers who played drums with my band for a while and does No Paws No Lions with the incredibly friendly Sam Woodson.  I feel like this band is what the Vanishing would have sounded like when they were 17 and "figuring themselves out".  There is a certain adolescent vibe I can't shake, and I don't mean that in an insulting way whatsoever.  Kids can be totally miserable too, right?  I just wonder who someone as happy as Rogers could be so sad, but said misery only needs to be achieved in short bursts as these songs don't last long.  Each one comes, cuts in and draws just enough blood to help Strange Frames get to their next victim.  Kind of like a mosquito, where Secret Tones are the tick that feeds till it bursts.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

An interview with HEAD MOLT

Head Molt live!
Since September of 2006 HEAD MOLT have been scumming up basement parties and mom's kitchens with drum trigger throb and effects-pedal wizardry. Their visits to Richmond were always an anticipated, fun, and sweaty time for all in attendance. In February HEAD MOLT relocated to Richmond, VA and are going strong! In recent weeks I conducted this interview via various e-mails and text messages with core members GARY STEVENS and LEAH PEAH:

Jason- So, who the fuck is HEAD MOLT, who do you think you are?

Leah Peah-I dunno, some attention craving scum fucking shits from the toilets of Hampton VA that some how got plunged to RVA! Who do you think you are?

Jason- I think I'm just some hack, amateur, music, can you tell us what equipment you use to make your sounds or is that TOP SECRET?

Gary Stevens- It's no secret, I'm a pedal jockey. I have a pile of guitar pedals, build contact mics, and do some circuit bending. I like to keep it low-tech. Fucking up tapes is cool too. Lately I've been using more feedback loops, raw signals that are fun to manipulate. I'm into that.

Jason- What are your most current releases? Who released them? Why do they release them for you?

Leah- We have a C-10 tape thats in production from Heavy Psych. Not out yet, but fairly soon here.
Our newest release is a split 7inch with Lazy Magnet on Flish records.
A c-60 out on "recycled" cassette from Obelisk Sounds.
Why do they put them out? I dont know...Maybe they're tone deaf or suicidal or both. I heard tone deaf suicidal people do crazy things. None the less, each label who has put our stuff out has been nothing but amazing, as well as the finished product.
headmolt side of lazy magnet split

Jason- So what's new w/ your solo stuff LEAH PEAH? I hear your a Deftones fan, is this true?

Leah- I'm currently recording stuff for a new split tape with The Suicide Magnets of Philly, Thats going to be put out on AEN (Anti Everything Noise). Also finished up a track for an all new female comp that is called "Ladyz in Noyz: An Addendum" on Corpus Callosum which is the sequal to Ladyz in Noyz released on Spleen Coffin in 2008. Both of which come from the creative dwelling of Marlo Eggplant's veggie grated mind!

Deftones?! I got a piss boner for all this talk of Deftones!!!!
Leah Peah

Jason- What's up with your face on your facebook profile?
gary face

Gary- i hate saying "facebook" i just don't like the sound of it. That's what I look like when the earth's magnetic field is peaking.

Jason- "Facebook!!!" there I said it, SAY IT!!!!!!!! OK, enough of what are your touring plans for 2009?

Gary- We want to go up and down the coast a couple of times. Maybe hit a few spots in the midwest.

Jason- Do you guys collaborate w/ anyone? (Recording or performances) Any future collaborations you'd like to mention?

Leah- We've collaborated with a few, both for recording and live.
Recorded collaborations includes: spoken word performer Bryan Lewis Saunders aka Mr. Brain Sander. The piece we worked on together is called "Craigslist" and was released on AEN.
It's an awesome tape that focuses on the "sassy-n-sensual" side of Craigslist and just when you thought you were at your repulsed and disgusted limits with the intensely written lyrics, it continues to downgrade your brain into some real raw filth.

We did a collaboration with FUN from Philly called "Lazy Saturday" that was recorded at the old Z Radio house. We were happily force fed bong hits and randomly handed Casios and keyboards of all varieties. As we moved throughout the house during the recording session, umbrellas, pedals, stomping and whatever one would constitute as noise ended up finding its way onto the recording. Breathmint gave birth to this collaborative session by releasing it as two CD-R's HeadFUN/FUNHead.

Live show collaborations include:
Jonathon Coward (SHAMS) Vocals and tape noise.
Brian Morsberger (Drums Like Machine Guns) Vocals.
Ed Wilcox (Temple of Bon Matin) Drums.
Zack Kouns Saxophone.

Jason- Are there any themes or social commentary involved with the sound of HEAD MOLT?

Gary- No, we don't really express any social commentary with Head Molt. Our sound comes from our own frustrations with everyday life. I wouldn't say we are apathetic but we don't feel that our music is the best vehicle for our personal ideologies. It's more of a vibration thing, our way of expelling our own negative feelings onto others. I guess I would say that the general darkness of the human condition is the true theme here...abandonned strip malls converted into prison camps or photos of car crashes?

Jason- So you guys moved to Richmond into the Church Of The Crystal Light, for our readers who aren't familiar with this spot could you give a brief history and mention a little about the current state of things there?

Leah- The Church of Crystal Light was a place with a lot of potential but with the city's current stance on places like Church, there was really no way for it to survive and when it comes to extremely DIY situations like Church its better to leave it a complete whimsical mystery.

Jason- Well said. How do you guys like living in RVA? Any funny or horror stories worth sharing?

Gary- Richmond and it's people have been good to us. It's way better than the shit hole Hampton we've been living in for years before. We feel slightly less isolated now, playing more shows too. We definitley plan to stay here for a while longer. So far the only horrific thing that has happened was when the city shut down the art space we were living in for 4 months (Church of Crystal Light). We're somewhat homeless now but things are starting to look better for us. We're thankful for the great friends we have here who are helping us out.

Jason- So I remember that you guys opened for GIRL TALK at the NorVA some months back, I also remember seeing tons of feedback from folks on the internet...both positive and negative. How was this experience and how did you get on this show?

Gary- I've known Greg since the first time I booked Girl Talk at my old place (The Rat-Ward in Hampton). That was back in 2001. A buddy of mine instant messaged me about the Norva show and jokingly suggested we get on the bill. So I emailed Greg not expecting anything and he quickly responded and was into the idea. He had his booking agent contact us and that what that.

Leah- I didnt really know what to do with myself, I don't think any of us did. So we drank A LOT like we would at any other show. We had a talent assistant, we got free rum and beer and all that other cliche stuff that comes with playing places like the NORVA. It was interesting to hear a mixture of boos, and cries of confusion, with people chanting along with the "lyrics" but in all honesty I was more into the sensation of how loud we actually were. That alone makes me want to play bigger shows again and again.

Gary- Over a thousand people were angered by our performance. It was the best "fuck off" to the Hampton Roads area I could ever think of. I'm not sure if we can ever top that.

Leah- The reviews of our set for that show are hilarious. The reviewers themselves made it obviously clear a mass majority of people still suffer the typical mentality of; "I cant like it til someone tells me it's ok to". Which is exactly what Girl Talk did during the middle of his set. It was weird to have people come up and talk with us after the show. People wanting to take pictures with us and asking questions, but for every one picture we took, we had 3 dirty looks following it up. I guess these are the trials and tribulations a band must face when venturing over to the "other side" of acceptable mainstream music, especially coming from where we do.

Gary- no matter how many times people are told it's OK to like us, they probably won't. I'm OK with that.

Head Molt live

Jason- What does the name Head Molt mean?

Gary- It was really just two random words put together. After I did a web search for the phrase I learned it's a common occurrence in the animal world, to cast off an outer covering periodically. Which kinda makes sense considering Head Molt was a sort of musical rebirth for myself.

Jason- OK final questions, what does the future hold for Head Molt? Where do you want to see this thing going? What's your favorite beverage?

Gary- The future is a nightmare world for future punks, hard core pirate punks, apocalyptic poets and Mad Max types.
Working on more tapes, some new vinyl splits, hopefully a new home. Don't really care where this mess takes us, into the gray hairs, into complete obscurity. Where ever we end up I will always enjoy cheap whiskey.

Leah- I don't know where it's going to go, and I don't know what the future holds, I'm just going to keep doing it and whatever happens, happens.

I like Malibu and Coke, Baileys on the rocks, and Buttery Nipples.

Jason- I should know because that's what you guys order when you come to the bar I work at...Thanks for doing this, Ciao babies!!!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tobias R's Featurette No. 3 - Kevin from TYVEK grills Timmy Vulgar of TIMMY'S ORGANISM

Besides giving Saddam Hussein the keys to the city in 1980, Detroit, MI is also known for producing high quality rock bands (See: The Stooges, MC5, The Gories, Frijid Pink, Alice Cooper, ? & The Mysterians) as well as having the highest speed limit in The United States of America and also for it's poor public transportation system which is still heavily discouraged by the once all-powerful motor industry.

Detroit (as always) has a handful of really good bands right now (See: X! Records). If you liked previous projects like Clone Defects, Reptile Forcefield and Human Eye you'll want to immediately check out the new double 7" released on Sacred Bones by Timmy's Organism. *Highly recommended!*

I arranged to speak with the singer/guitar player Timmy Lampinen aka Timmy Vulgar. A man with a reputation for gargling with house paint and once playing a set wearing a large squid on his head, but also a very talented song writer and performer. As far as I'm concerned every song written is an instant classic. The music is always really deranged, freaked out sounding but with an obvious gift for writing hooks that forgo typical cheese for a mouth full of mold instead. When I put a record on in my bedroom or while DJing there is nothing I want more than to have the speakers spew and spray blown out budget glitter tar with insane stream of consciousness lyrics. I'm a sucker for it. And records Timmy Vulgar's involved in always deliver.

To make things more interesting there's a twist to this interview.... when I was on a mini-tour last month with Grand Trine and TYVEK (another excellent band from Detroit) I had at that time yet to conduct the interview. We were in Quebec City one night when I mentioned my idea to Kevin (of Tyvek), the owner of the bar had just bought everyone in all the bands shots of some strange murky-to-clear alcohol and at that point any of the normal constraints a person might have on their imagination were sufficiently melted. He offered to just write the questions for me and scrawled out some doozeys. Some of the questions were destroyed as he excitedly tore out the paper but there were plenty of survivors. I wanted to scan it but I think its better just to push this mutant through my thighs and get it over with. Enjoy.

Kevin: What is the significance of the eyeball?

Timmy Vulgar: The Eyeball, Ive liked them sents i was like 13/14 years old. I use to
draw them all the time. I still do! I have an eyeball collection toys and halloween ones. I guess its been a fascination for cultures for thousands of years. Its even on the dollar bill dude!

Is pop culture war?

Im not sure what it is? I dont watch T.v. cuz i dont have cable cuz
its pretty mind numbing. I really have a disgust for most contemporary
celebertys. Ive declared war agianst pop culture! Slop verses Pop!!!

If you could live on another planet besides Earth, which planet
would you live on?

Earth is pretty good for now, Probably mars about a billion years ago.

Does Arizona count as a planet?

It does compared to michigan or even the mid west. Weird insects and
arachnids,reptiles poisonous snakes! I use to live there ya know!

Would you rather play in the Garden Bowl or the Magic Stick?


Urinals or Chrome? please explain.

Chrome! Way crazier! I heard Chrome first! Their Still ahead of their
time. Urinals rule though!

Do you actually like the band Crime or are they shit?

CRIME friggin rules also!

Can you turn into a wolf?

Yeah a lil jim beam or most whiskeys will help with that metamorphosis!

Are you human?


Please give the epileptix discography.

EPILEPTIX? lets see."the Kill yourself cassette"1995 "self hate
7inch"1997 "disco slut 7inch"1997 split w/the Druggies1997 and the
"Greatest Fits" LP.1999.