Wednesday, June 29, 2011

6x2x12 comp on Volar Records

Today you lucky jerks, I'm going to talk about this 12" comp from Volar Records, and it's been while since I had a 12" compilation in my hands. I remember old label cassette comps, but this is like the World Lousy With Ideas volumes. Why not have the modern comp be a label curated single mixtape...but on vinyl?

The Defektors kick this whole thing off with, "Not the one" a jangly stuttered guitar rock from the annals of post punk, except for that solo. Jittery rhythms that explode into a chorus looking forward inline with Hot Snakes.
Next up is a track from the O Voids: A minimal, lumbering away instrumental like some kind of ancient war song the third day into the ceremony. It's a great effort just to continue on, the drugs are wearing off and the villagers are leaving, but this transition is necessary to get to that transcendental place. This circle of melody repeats a few times and "Crawling Machine" is picking up their limbs and placing them a few inches forward.

Sharp Ends round out this Canadian side and I just caught their latest from Mammoth Cave. Terribly long stick count in...waaay past 8? Is that because they're on some weird alternate clock...well no, call this one straight ahead 4/4. Hit the kit on every beat all the way to the finish. The guitar isn't even really an instrument as much as another hitting device via strings. I love this far off heavy Bauhaus echo on the vocal, it turns an otherwise garage track into something much creepier.

I feel weirdly lazy not having to flip this thing over every song.
Maybe this is sort of a Volar faceoff? USA Vs Canada? No...wait Volar says competition through cruelty? Hmmmm, maybe the opposite, I forget.
Anyway I'm happy to see this kind of a comp that's like a split single times 10, you hear some new bands that undoubtedly are related and that's a good thing.

The (USA) Side features, Ale mania who are fresh in my mind from that previous Volar release but this one feels like it has almost nothing in common with that single. Pure chameleons of a nightmare Cramps style rocker with some yelling spoken word in the middle. The guitar section living alongside the machine gun sampled riffs of ancient Ministry.
The Beaters track, "They don't really care about us" what else? Beat on the tom and kick into this equally creepy buried track. If Blessure Grave approached their output from a more punk place it might have ended up in this place. It's no wonder BG had such a brief run, they were creating this ominously heavy, dark rock that inevitably has to explode, the same way Justin Beiber (I don't care how to spell it either - ed) is going to on the other end of the spectrum.
The Beaters here are dark and fast. Nice under-usage of a synth sound. Just enough to question who's side their on.
Spirit Photography make their ghostly appearance last. What's been going on with them since that single on Sacred Bones? A track like "Where is the Light"'s layered muddy drum machine, paced, slow vocal haze. Where's the light?... Where's the full length?
Just as creepy but pretty frantically hypnotic with a lot of distorted guitar work that honestly could have gone on a lot longer in my book.

A comp from Volar that says, what year are you living in anyway?

Have a listen to the streaming tracks from Volar or pick up a copy, still available on white vinyl.

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