“Over the Counter” is a column by our music editor Peter Rittweger which focuses on new and interesting music that isn’t featured prominently on the blog-o-sphere. This edition has Valentine’s Day gift ideas for cyber punks, new music from Yowler and Z’s and a few words on the Horrendous, Artificial Brain, Throaat and Kosmodemonic show at the Acheron this weekend.
Valentine’s Day in the Sprawl
William Gibson isn’t the most romantic guy out there, but if he were taking you out on Valentine’s Day, he might bring you a copy of the new SADIST and L.O.T.I.O.N EP, which was released via USB earring. This is probably the most cyberpunk thing ever: live video recordings of two post-industrial hardcore bands distributed on a laser-etched two gigabyte flash drive. It’s easy to roll your eyes at this concept, but I actually think the art is cool and the overall idea is pretty great. Gimmicky aesthetics and the band’s notorious live shows aside; with streaming services, it’s even MORE difficult for people to part with actual money for music. But give them some unique art along with the music and they just might. It’s nice to have something tangible and different. Of course, the whole thing falls apart if the music is bad, but we’re dealing with two great hardcore bands here, who compliment each other well. SADIST’s music plays a little more like straight-forward hardcore, while L.O.T.I.O.N. bring an industrial edge to things that sounds like Aphex Twin’s “Come to Daddy” in slow motion. Data is forever, at Burn Books and Ignore Rock’N’Roll Heroes.
Uh Huh Her
There comes a time in every pop-punk kid’s life where they get jaded or bored with the sappy vibes and constricting three-minute verse/chorus/verse structure. A new project is often the remedy. Remember when Tom Delonge started Angels and Airwaves? Don’t worry, this is nothing like that. All Dogs frontwoman Maryn Jones’ new solo project is more “Connor Oberst deciding to do his own thing as Bright Eyes” than “badly aping ‘Joshua Tree’ while wearing laser-shooting goggles.” So yeah, more sad singer-songwriter emo stuff than overblown stadium garbage. Yowler is her solo moniker and its debut release The Offer is out on cassette March 10 via Double Double Whammy. For now, you can listen to its first single “7 Towers,” which reminds me of some of PJ Harvey’s more understated moments. All the feels.
Perfume of this Critic’s Burning Flesh
Zs, and Northern Spy Records, the label founded by the band’s only constant, Sam Hillmer, serve an important role in the city’s art community; they’re our generation’s tether to the great experimental music scenes of pre-Bloomberg New York. They’re our Sun-Ra, Glenn Branca and John Zorn. Zs are sort of like Zorn’s band, Naked City. They’re hard to categorize, like any TRULY experimental music (that’s the point, guys), but they’re something akin to free jazz. They’re probably doing stuff that I don’t understand fully because I’m a just a blogger. I don’t have an intimate grasp of music theory. Fortunately that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the twists and turns of their new record, Xe. The mind-bending album is the first release to feature Zs current lineup, which features Brooklyn’s own virtuosic drummer Greg Fox (Liturgy, Guardian Alien, Man Forever) and avant-classical guitarist/composer Patrick Higgins. Listening to Xe is like being in the room at Trans Pecos with the band, probably because it was recorded in one take by Higgins and producer Henry Hirsch at Hudson, New York’s Future-Past Studios. Hilmer sees the record as “alternative music for people who are seeking an alternative,” and notes that “with this crisp domesticated indie/EDM work on the rise, there may be more and more people seeking that.” I know I’m one of them. Xe came out yesterday via the aforementioned Northern Spy Records, and you can stream the particularly Zorn-y track “Corps” above.
See this show
I’m sure you already know this, but my co-editor Coleman Bentley writes the best metal column in New York City every week and he’s got an absolutely INSANE bill booked at the Acheron this Saturday. I usually leave the metal show recs up to him in “This One Goes To Eleven,” but year-end chart-toppers Horrendous and Artificial Brain on the same show is the sort of ruthless shit that begs for cross-promotion here on this humble punk and noise-minded column. Tickets are just $10. Doors are at 8 PM, but make sure to get there early to cop a $10 beer and burger special next door at the Anchored Inn.