SPRING SPROUTS – Ingrown Records compilation – 2012 – Bandcamp and cassette

Ingrown Records compilation, Bandcamp and limited edition cassette
Derek Poteat drops guitar science with the brief “Abbreviat,” fresh and experimental sounds from the start. Tearo is next, “Let’s Die A.I.,” drops a nice break, under heavenly synths, this could be John Foxx or Bill Nelson for all I know. Nice.
Tesla Recoils’s “The Penal Colony” is more toward the soundtrackish end, with layers of blustery synths flying all around the place. Tight! Treasure Hunt is next, “Dillard’s Shopping” is pure Magnetic Fields, or Ken Clinger, same thing, swirly synth pop. Lovely. Orphaned Holograms “Ascension Dimension Disintegration” is very much like modern Skinny Puppy, which means a nice beat out front, twiddly synth bits, echoey samples and the occasional machine noise. Break it down. I hadn’t planned on writing about every single piece on this compilation, but Wyss’s “A JPEG Jam” is so fucking cool, I had to mention it. What the hell, Peter Gabriel vibe or something, uplifting and then a dubstep breakdown? Outstanding. Bryce Eiman drops “The Corm Tunic,” reverbed synth swells for 2.5 minutes, can’t go wrong. Shit yeah. Caucasians’s “Pious Bias” literally sounds like a surveillance recording of some dudes playing keyboards in a room, maybe reversed & echoed backwards, it’s very cool. Dead Chimp “Twisted Fuck” is fun, bouncey, dancey, bassy and amusing, which is all I’m asking for. Come on. Fun and funny samples, I hope they’re supposed to be funny. JoieJoieJoie’s “Les Iguanes” features enervating wordplay and asian percussion & melodies & stuff, plus oh my god an actual TUNE and a SONG with LYRICS, oh my god. Devastatingly cool song, with so many good things about it, I can’t stand it. First Dog To Visit The Center Of The Earth gets the last spot with “Perdido,” which is 7 minutes of jammed synth weirdness. I enjoyed this whole thing, what an unexpected treat.
Ian C Stewart


RUSS STEDMAN – “Blowing Chunks Of Theory” – 2012

“Blowing Chunks Of Theory” CD album thing
Mostly? entirely? instrumental? Fun musical and sonic puns about music, like “Diamonds & Pears.” “One Mile High” is slow and spacey, like a Prince song played at 20 BPM? This album is not like symphonic dubstep dirge digeridoo glitch-witch or anything out of left field, Russ is giving ya/me what ya/I want, which is great songs, great production, great performances, great fuckin’ guitar tone that makes me wanna pick up a guitar myself, and drumming that sounds like a live drummer, except better. It ain’t fuckin’ rocket science. “Vitreous Humour” is another favorite, it’s like rocked-out MIDI files of a Marilion song or something. Hah. “Eat The Sun” contains some symphonic elements, don’t get me wrong, some cool phrasing, fiddly bits, cool shit to go around. Also, “A Tin Teardrop” which is bulbous, also tapered? No, but it does sound like a fitting tribute to Dr. Beefheart & His Electric Teeth. “Insomnia,” god DAMN those drums are cool! “Try Eating That (In Stereo)” and “Leaping Stink Snow” are an humorous pair of homages maybe to the “Zoot Allures” era, and to Frank’s Synclavier years respectively. Or I could be totally wrong, fuck if I know. “Stale Trident” brings the proceedings to a close, in grand, lighters in the air, fog machine, laser finale fashion. Get it now, stop reading this. Shut up.
Ian C Stewart

REVIEW: PEER GROUP – “Manscaping” MP3 download 2012

Manscaping MP3 2012
What it’s not: music, fun. What it IS is is…. layers of feedback and noise to tickle and delight your inner ear demon. Twenty one minutes of what in the holy crap is that supposed to be? Feedback, effects. That type of thing. There are different elements, it’s not just one continuous drone. It’s like, let’s layer the biggest pile we can possibly do, all at once, till it kind of peters out toward the end. Why not. It’s not bad but it’s also not very enjoyable to listen to. If given the choice between Peer Group and Lynyrd Skynyrd, I would still choose Peer Group. I hope that never happens.
Ian C Stewart

REVIEW: The Mighty Accelerator – “Soccer Mom” EP, 2011

The Mighty Accelerator - Soccer Mom EP

The Mighty Accelerator - Soccer Mom EP

Soccer Mom
EP, Download, 2011
Funtime hard-rockin’ rock band songs that are equal parts Midwestern punk and classic rock. Cowbell AND double-kick drumming in the same song. Kind of like a lighter Motorhead, something like that. “Shake It” opens with some heaviness, and the chorus reminds me of Tad. Stylistically it sounds like a mashup of Celtic Frost and Cinderella. This would make a nice 7″ vinyl single, I’m sure Andy would’ve done that back in the day. “Mustache Foam” has dynamics and riffs for a semi-epic vibe. The production is nice but not so overpowering that I feel the need to mosh here, or stagedive off of my desk. Clean and professional in a good way, and fun.
Ian C Stewart

REVIEW: chefkirk + Carl Kruger – Physical Release, 2011

chefkirk + Carl Kruger - Physical Release, 2011

chefkirk + Carl Kruger - Physical Release, 2011

Physical Release
download, May 2011, http://www.controlvalve.net
These guys are a two-man noise riot. This piece is a 27 minutes worth of everything but music. You got several types of feedback, shrill samples and loops, all percolating in real time. This was created live. Certain types of people are drawn to the fringes, the hard, painful, line-in-the-sand that just makes it impossible to think or breathe. Too much of this will ruin your hearing and make you go blind, or maybe that’s just me. Tag me out, I can’t finish listening to the entire piece!
Ian C Stewart

REVIEW: ANIXAS Outer Space Located In Debris Field, 2011

Outer Space Located In Debris Field
EP – Jamendo download, 2011
Repeat of the 3P. Weird ambience, screaming, reverbed to hell, sounds like the soundtrack to an old martian film, you know the one. “Large Cargo Ship” features a nice pile of samples and synthesizer splats and filters. “Search For Life Forms” is a a sparse take on robotic vocoder sounds. If this is a concept album, then we take this track as literally being a search for lifeforms. “Feeling Isolated On The Ship” is very similar, albeit with more bass in the vocoder.
Ian C Stewart

REVIEW: Distant Trains – Congratulations On Your Suicide CD, 2010

Distant Trains - Congratulations On Your Suicide CD, 2010

Distant Trains - Congratulations On Your Suicide CD, 2010

Congratulations On Your Suicide
CD, 2010
Distorted bass guitar with clean drum programming and wandering keys on top. Plus vocal. “Take Care” is like a doom metal version of Soul Whirling Somewhere. And the bursts of bluesy guitar, I should not be enjoying this. The production can be summed up in two words: clean scuzz. Just like the early work of one of my favorite bands, Idaho. “Desert” is probably more like Queens Of The Stone Age, maybe? I enjoy the distorto-bass guitar-forward songwriting, vocals waaaaay off over there in the semi-background. The elements are familiar, but the picture is still pretty.
Ian C Stewart