Thursday, November 12, 2015
The Single Life - 7" of Fun: Featuring Thee Arthur Layne, Repellers/Deadhand and Sheepshifter/Grey Woods
Thee Arthur Layne is a band I've been hearing more and more about. Seeing more posts about on social media. Observe them playing with more and more bands that I dig and respect. And based upon this tasty 7" licorice platter, that trend is going to continue. Firmly rooted in psychedelia but not plowing the post-Kyuss/Fu Manchu road of stoner rock, Thee Arthur Layne seem to take their roots a tad farther back into time, late-sixties, lava-lamp, black-light-ready-acid party-era of time to be precise. Fuzz and wah aboud but are never overwhelming and never mask the soulful vocals or melodic songcraft. "Father Friendly" is simply a late-sixties, mescaline ingested explosion of primitive blues, swirling guitars and thick chords. "Scorpion Crawl" somehow manages to drop even deeper into the fuzz-laden stew of acid rock. Man, those vocals drip of soul, like a freaked out Sly and the Family Stone stealing Hendrix's guitar and playing while doing laps in the bongwater of MC5.
Trudging out of some mutated crust-soaked swamp, Repellers lead off this split 7" of vile heaviness with festering wounds and sputum laced vocals fully intact. Guitars plow through an anarchistic phlegm of fuzz and distortion, clearly on the path of the most haunting vocal I've ever heard. Not sure what Repellers intent was with "Blood Bone and Soul", but true to their name, this song will repel anyone who's not prepared for the heaviness of their brand of mucous crust. Those who know it and dig crust will simply drink up every second of this beast. "The Riddle of Steel" ups the hardcore crust element and strangely enough the melodic quotient all at the same time, creating a truly unique vision of decaying metal. Definitely worth hearing. Flipside, Deadhand somehow manage to increase the heaviness with "Apex Parasite." , something I didn't think was possible without a quantum gravity generator. But they manage to create a song so dense and heavy it's the musical equivalent of a black hole, from which no light can ever escape. This has got to be the ultimate hardcore crust ode to the futility of existence. Annihilation awaits. Jump onboard.
Man, I just don't know where some of this stuff comes from. See, I'm a total bin diver, and I've been know to pull 100 random 7" punk singles out of the bins for 25 cents each just to see what's lying there. So, I have a ton of music with no indication of where it came from. Did I buy it one day in a delirious frenzy? Was it sent in for review? Or in this case, did Jesus Lizard have an anal butt baby with The Blood Brothers while giving head to an acid-fried Chipmunk? A question that will probably never be answered. Wailing, helium and meth vocals pierce through the primal punk riffing and primitive pounding noise. Is it good? Well, it's not like anything I've ever heard, that's for sure. Do I want to hear it again? I'll let you listen and decide.
Flipside Grey Woods, sounds like the exact same band and same song, but the vocals were recorded not on 78 rpm but 33 rpm or 15 rpm. Or whatever is more moribund and gangrenous. Guttural noise metal of the nth degree. Unremitting intensity like a vicious series of body blows fuel their CinemaScope-sized wasteland of metal. Overall, this is as impenetrable as fuck. Not quite my thing, but I appreciate their commitment to disturbing the peace.