“Over the Counter” is a column by our music editor focusing on new and interesting music that isn’t featured prominently on the blog-o-sphere. This edition examines new releases from Freak Heat Waves, Big Dick, Limbs Bin and Two Million Tons of Shit and recommends Washer’s show at The Grand Victory.
2015: The Year of Canadian Post-Punk?
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Western Canada has already given us a consensus album of the year contender from Viet Cong, and it looks like we may have another on our hands from British Columbia’s Freak Heat Waves, who released their new LP, Bonnie’s State of Mind via the very Canadian Hockey Dad Records yesterday. Viet Cong’s rock classicist approach to post-punk will undoubtedly play well when the internet puts together its “best-of” lists for 2015, but every critic’s best-kept secret may very well be Freak Heat Waves’ Factory meets Berlin-Bowie take on the genre. It’s a bit all over the map; lush, instrumental interludes like the title track and “Liquid Honey” bookend angular, mathy tracks that sound like a deconstructed Antics-era Interpol. Sometimes, they’ll dissolve into Swans-esque freakouts, as heard on “Melt In Your Home.” Those sorts of twists and turns can make an album sound uneven, but its actually refreshing to hear on a post-punk record which can often sound a bit too homogenous.
Me, I Just Drive a Benz
Speaking of Canadians, Ottawa’s Big Dick have a new full-length due out in a couple of weeks, hilariously titled Disappointment. If you’re looking for comps; they’re a two-piece drum and bass act named after a NOMEANSNO track, so that’s a pretty good place to start. The first single, “Let Down,” which you can hear above, sounds a bit like a more pop-minded Vulture Shit with a recording budget. If you dig that one, BrooklynVegan premiered their second single “Crawl” yesterday, which is giving me all kinds of Japandroids sing-a-long vibes. If you dug that one too, then you’re in luck, Disappointment is out on February 24 via Dirt Cult Records.
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Finally, some good ol’ NYC noise. Limbs Bin are based out of Ridgewood (like everyone else these days) and Two Million Tons of Shit are from the UK. They’ve both been scaring the crap out of PBR-sipping basement dwellers for a couple of years now with pummeling anarcho-powerviolence, so they decided to team up on a split cassette from across a great ocean. The EP is just two tracks, both at almost exactly eleven minutes and fifteen seconds; any more and intense tinnitus and early onset schizophrenia may begin to set in. Limbs Bin’s track, “Halloween 2014,” kicks in with screeching feedback and atonal, static-drenched screams which gradually become both more intelligible and pained. The track climaxes about a third of the way in and recedes into a soft, electronic ambiance before erupting once more, as it reaches its denouement. It’s similar in structure to some of the longer form electronic work of Bastard Noise, or the more intense moments of Alberich. Two Million Tons of Shit’s track is a bit more straightforward; it’s just straight torture chamber grindcore. I would imagine “Cackhanded” is best heard on the $5 cassette as opposed to the free mp3 I’ve got, as it seems to rely on lofi static for much of its texture. You can get either version now on Bandcamp.
See this: Washer at The Grand Victory
If you’re in the mood for some good ass indie rock this weekend (who isn’t?) then you could do significantly worse than staggering into The Grand Victory on Saturday night for a solid local bill headlined by a band I’ve taken a shining to over the past year or so, Washer. They’re pals with Big Ups and Flagland and are more on the Flagland end of the noise spectrum, as you’ll hear on a recently uploaded live version of “Lady Limp” from a recent set at Shea Stadium. You can totally bring your friends from out of town who don’t really go to shows very often, provided they’re not scared off by stuff as abrasive as Pavement. DTCC, LEAN and Geena Davis open. Tickets are $8 and will be on sale at the door. Additional details here.