Friday, October 17, 2008

Multiple Siltbreeze Radness From Your Flesh.

Taken from Sewers Of Mars #14 by a fellow named James Jackson toth on the Your Flesh site.....

OK, I realize that this is just getting embarrassing now, but I just hafta tell you that U.S. EZ , the new Sic Alps album on Siltbreeze is easily their definitive work; More on this next month, and probably every month here on after. But speaking of Siltbreeze, dude’s been on a roll lately. To be quite honest, I was starting to wonder a bit after a run of fairly mediocre albums by xNo BBQx and the inexplicably fawned-over Psychedelic Horseshit, but three recent releases in particular have confirmed that Siltbreeze is still the greatest indie since, err…Zapple? Fabulous Diamonds are a frisky guy/ girl duo from Melbourne, Australia playing skeletal drone pop reminiscent of long forgotten greats like Beyond The Implode or perhaps a more ‘screwed and chopped’ Palais Schaumburg. The absence of guitars in lieu of all manner of percussion, dubby synth stabs,
and saxophone, makes the band distinctive enough, while the bratty playground taunts that pass for vocals will certainly make fans of anyone who digs Lilliput, ESG, or Julie Ruin. Very brief (but not too brief), this eponymous album manages to encapsulate the gloomy stoicism of no-wave without that genre’s predictable ‘confrontational’ bent. Good job. Naked on the Vague, on paper, sound like a sister band to Fabulous Diamonds—also co-ed, also from Australia (this troop from Sydney), also working within the parameters of ‘space dub’ and largely ignoring rock and roll’s favored instrument—but Naked on the Vague, on their debut LP The Blood Pressure Sessions, possess a more sinister, apocalyptic edge that likens them more to Young Marble Giants or something Andrew Eldritch might have recorded had he horded Messthetics comps. I also give them the slight edge because Naked On The Vague essentially do what Fabulous Diamonds do, but then take things even further into the ether. For instance, “The Horse, He’s Sick,” all woozy synths and chanted vocals, would fit comfortably on Fabulous Diamonds LP, but only until the creepy, gear-changing chorus. Also especially great is “Mother’s Footsteps,” which simultaneously reminds me of Huggy Bear, Crass, The Knife, and Sonic Youth. Oh yeah, and Naked on the Vague writes great lyrics: “I know nothing of God or the devil / And I know nothing of heaven or hell / All I know is that I wake up breathing...” Post-post-punk? Lastly, Eat Skull follows two massive singles with Sick To Death , a snottily canorous journey into the psyches of these creeps, who also play in The Hospitals (see Sewers #13). As for the sound, pre-sheen Guided By Voices is an obvious touchstone, as on “Survivable Spaces” which conjures GBV anthems like “Quality of Armor,” while the pensive, melancholy “Fade To Smoke” could pass for an outtake from Alien Lanes. Don’t mistake this for Magnet fodder, though—the band alternately rawks as ferociously as Electric Eels on tracks like the fittingly titled “Punk Trips,” and the Count Dracula cackle that concludes “Puker Corpse” is the best chorus-that-isn’t-a-chorus since I don’t know when. While Sick To Death is certainly something Trouser Press would call ‘lo-fi,’ there is a clarity and attention to detail here that makes it lo-fi like Kriminella Gitarrer and not lo-fi like, say, Sentridoh. Stellar.

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