Thursday, October 18, 2012
Kudgel on Waikiki Records
Here's the funny part, a lot of times I just grab a record from the pile on top of the speakers and start writing and sort out all the details later, I don't want to be influenced by facebook pages or reading other site's reviews which will inevitably compare them to artists, which I will also end up talking about. So I grabbed this single from Kudgel the other night and dove right in without realizing this was released a good ten years ago, and might be out of print...at the very least there's no web site for Waikiki Records, or Kudgel even. They also seem to have coined the term "Chimp Rock"? Which had something to do with that lo-fi sound that was happening around then. I think they were buddies with the Swirlies or they may have had some kind of beef with them...hard to tell. Basically I have no idea how I ended up with this, or where it came from. Whoever found these sitting around and sent me one, thank you...it's a great record. It wasn't out of place thinking this was recorded a few months ago, and I got all excited thinking it was sort of related to Milk Music. Weird.
A-Side's "Chicken Pump" has that great heavy, loose pounding druming, really reminding me of Flipper and that kind of sludgy punk sound. There's a slow, plinking along guitar, meandering away...even a little bit jangly, at first the insert of a math book threw me, thinking maybe this is some kind of equation rock, but it's too raw and grungy for all those changes, they just dive into those big chords and Mark E. lays into this vocally, with a Harvey Milk style growl. It's alternating between quieter, out of tempo pieces and bursts of distortion with Mark screams. Back and forth on this swing with distorted vocals, it's a little bit Mudhoney, or Screaming Trees sound, they know exactly how to keep this improvisational and free form, repeat the loose melody like The Minutemen. Plodding along with a screaming burst, which isn't even a real kind of chorus, they just go back and foth between loud and quiet. A psych distortion guitar sweeps in to take this to a real creepy place, working in a lot of ways like Milk Music, they hit those sweeping epic chords and really turn the knife going in.
"Now" on the B-Side brings a massively thick distortion, this one reminding me of Lungfish even, they come up with a loose groove, super layers of dual guitars with plenty of feedback bouncing off each other. The way that Broken Water was is messing around in the lab with those sounds from the late 90's again, distilling the heaviness from the northwest or Chicago even and picking the torch back up, jamming along in that slow bulldozer sound. Mike's hoarse scream is probably more energetic than this needs to be, but it's slightly buried and they even have a sort of Built to Spill harmony feel with call and response echo'd vocals through a tin can. This starts to completely break down in a real clean style of complete destruction, peeling back the onion to get back to that core of just two chords throbbing back and forth.
On black vinyl, mine had a red xerox insert and some pages of a math book with impossible equations.
You know what else is crazy...I just realized I have this Swirlies split that these guys did with them on a summer tour....spooky.
Shit I think I just realized, the guys from limited appeal sent this one in....they still have copies.