Friday, August 31, 2012
Tropical Trash- Fear of Suffering EP on Sophomore Lounge Records
Sophomore Lounge has zeroed in on my heart and wallet, I mean if I didn't know better I'd be sweeping this office for surveillance, pulling apart the walls...it was one thing to go after a full length for Fat History Month, letting those guys really spread out and allow for serious tension. Their special epic push and pull of that kit and guitar, but then they went and pressed this single from Louisville's Tropical Trash and just raised the bar on this post, mathy guitar based future I want so badly in my life.
A-Side's "Baltimore" stars off heavy as hell... guttural head bashing chords over tight precise drumming and a vocal comes in on exactly at the beginning of the four count, brief far away breathy delivery worked into this driving complex rhythm right on the nose. That's the post punk part, acknowledging the vocal, but presenting it in an atypical way, it's an element to be broken down like everything else. The chord progression works it's way along with the single-word-at-a-time vocal up the scale. This beat here is jazzy and precise and a piercing huge treble reverb smacks the left channel, an extra loud crunch bfore you can even get to actually playing this thing before that low end riff kicks back in. I'm thinking of Milk Music and their specific guitar sound, finding that particular distortion of low end when that chord is struck, and that's it, mark the pedals. You don't want to lose that, it's not calculated...it's been a long search for this dirty aggressive sound, they'll know it when they hear it. The City of Baltimore, now that we're nearing it's more recent history, is breaking down, the jazzy free form rhythm is getting less and less recognizable and the guitar is scraped and scratched, put through the paces of being anything other than strings and pickups. I admire a band that can completely go after these ugly sounds and use them to their advantage. Restrained bursts, full of all the possibilities of anything can happen here.
The B-Side kicks off four barely minute long tracks beginning with "False Crypt" that piles on the layers of noise at a hardcore speed...with a little accordion or harmonium melody sadly humming away between the saw blade forrest of guitar riffs, completely overwhelming the beat. "Pentagram Ring Finger" continues this heavy barely separated movement, riding into that epic ditch and righting itself with distorted hardy barred chords and yelly vocals...a brief screechy solo section, and this could be exactly where the years in the basement experimenting with tones are paying off. "Raw Mind" then gets into a weird rhythm with vocal chantings, some kind of blown instrumnet not sounding at all like itself, a repeated impossibly stretched melody and carnival rhythm. "Burning Ghost" is the most free form jazz/punk sound here, a wall of something played low and blowing while the layers are just impenetrable. I can't decide what I like more, spending time with a sprawling six minute ride, or hopping on and off that crazy train.
This is a fantastic interview with Jim about this single. I'm already sold, so this is preaching to the converted, and of course he sounds like an awesome guy with an intense work ethic deliberately working without a formula, just seeing where this sound is going to take them.
On all white vinyl, no marks on the single, with a black and white screened urban dali scene from Sophomore Lounge Records.