Thursday, January 31, 2013

Slicing Grandpa on Randstock records


Thomas at Randstock Records contacted me over Christmas about this single he put out from Slicing Grandpa, who I swear I must have talked about in the six years of singles every day, but somehow I haven't. I know the duo started way back in '93 in Elmira NY, the year that I left my own little upstate town and headed to the big city, which is twenty years ago...yikes. They've released countless cassette's, singles, 10"'s...you name it...looks like Thomas grabbed a couple of tracks for the A-Side off their "Family Restroom" cassette on Strain Theory from 2005, and paired it with what I'm pretty sure is an unreleased track. There's a great interview with these guys over at Terminal Boredum, I hope their still out there, rehearsing once a year and playing meth festivals in europe with song titles like "Urination Crane".

"Grandpa's revenge IV" on the A-Side is full of what I love about how damaged experimental noise can get, the warbly vocal, the cheap drum machine left on the side of the road and cranky acoustic chords in a little bit of funk style... just holding things togther. A bunch of ghosts got together on the last day of halloween and just willed this into magnetic tape with their ghost minds. It slowly starts creeping down, slower and slower, which is a weird effect considering this is a vinyl record spinning at 33....but theres no denying this auto programmed demo jam beat is straining, except for the vocal and droopy acoustic chords that just ignore it completely, but still managing to get into it with a "yea!". Sung from the depth of the basement, echoing off the walls, screeching in that empty room, mixed for maximum volume irregardless of your stereo's wishes and with a beat to dance to. Funk breakdown of ghostly howls from the layers of sound piling up, the batteries giving up on this portable player and guess what? You forgot to bring new batteries so your going to have to listen to this griding to a halt the entire way to school and live with yourself. "Fuck you" takes a couple of messed up chords and repeates them, a loud distortion rings around in the back, a machine bleeping away in some kind of rhythm. This is the sound of freedom... the founding fathers would have wanted it this way. A complete free form freekout of sound. If anyone can accept this then that's the kind of open mind I'm into. The very exstence of this makes me happy, the other 149 copies... those addresses should be well hidden, they are all going to get out and make their own weird noises soon. As much as it is that kind of free form noise project, there's a different kind of care that went into this noise, the repetition of the rhythm and the far out there feedback, the way the vocals work buried and muffled as another instrument, vocalization as the absense of a recognizable subject.

B-Side "Falling on Grace" has a live microphone check and a slow snare with high hat picks up slow rhrythm, a lot like Home Blitz' rawest of garage recordings, this is from a much deeper basement, feeling kind of dark. They're punching the limits of that machine, I mean they could have had another cheapo drum pattern, but they can play live too, or at least enough to know better...pure catharsiss and release. There's some melody here, but its about this time and the place these guys can easily get to. Pre friends of Feeding Tube records. I know how much those guys love this kind of outsider noise. You wonder if this thing can thrive in a a diverse packed environment like the boroughs of NY or if it needs to be way out in the middle of the woods? Either place and its out of it's natural element, so far down its own path it's almost alienating. The cassette format is captured here with one channel dropping out of the vinyl entirely. They mess with the format as much as the original sound from that day. It's like you're right there live in the rook with them. I don't know how many home recordings you've slogged through you of your friends but this has that same familiar, comforting sound to me. Curl up by the fire with a hot toddy and a slanket.

Looks like you should pick this up over at SS Records. A tiny opening to this insane noise world. That's my one of a kind handpainted cover. Collect every one.

P.S.
Thomas elaborated on his handmade tribute in putting these together in an email:

"I painted and collaged all of those and drew the Skull Dude on every label (you should have seen my record room last year, haha)...it took like 6 months and is intended as a kinda serial art piece w/o being pretentious about it. Punk: simple as that. I tried to capture the themes Slicing Grandpa used on their earlier 7”inches. The idea of the photo booth picture gallery is taken from their Family Restroom tape and from there I expanded (John and Lance are two of the 25 faces, most of the others appeared in an early german punk fanzine from 1981 or are friends of mine, theres like 15 different variations of the outer sleeve too – this was intended as a kinda comment towards sleeve variation experts...), the blood ink was used on their tapecover too, the white cross was used on their Le Hardcore 7” (there it read S/L/H/G), inner sleeve pictures of NYC, Frisco, rural Ohio, Disneyland, David Bowie, 80s b/w images of Berlin, landscape murder scenes in the midwest, 80s Gore flicks and everything Dennis Hopper, Jodie Foster, Kinski, Werner Herzog, Jackie Onassis, Johnny Rotten related are on display in their work so I ripped fifty books and used that too (no photocopy was allowed)"

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