Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sloth "Falafel" on Limited Appeal Records

Seven inch records are a constant education. I learned at two interesting things this morning:

* #1 Limited Appeal's catalog runs DEEP, starting with release #1 back in '07 by none other than Full Blown Aids. That's one way to kick off a label with the a sludge metal project from Seth Putnam the lead in my other favorite band name, Anal Cunt.
• #2 This single from Sloth is a mere sliver of the Sloth puzzle. They've been putting out material since '94 on cassette, CDR, and singles....easily over 100 releases, continuing to present day...which is just plain impressive. "Falafel" is from 2010 and just as I was getting ready for the METAL onslaught, this really surprised me going in a dark, minimal synth place.

A-Side "Falafel" breaks in with a nice intro lady talking about the mastering and even mentioning Limited Appeal Records. Including the liner notes as spoken word like those old vinyl records I used to have for star trek episodes or those shellac recordings with a narrator instructing the listener audio about the process itself. It's a crazy idea to introduce a track like that, like staring right into the camera. The track itself is a weird off kilter rhythm, a heavy phasered guitar, someone is just beating on this thing while it phases in and out in a mechanical style, you'd think this was an old drum machine but it's even more low tech. Super minimal until the waves of distortion start rolling in while the lead vocal sings "Falafel!!!!" as loud and high as possible. It's all together... this isn't some crazy freakout, it's measured and cool except for the falafel wail. The layered vocals in a rigid line reminds me of Blanche Blanche Blanche. The tape whirs to a stop and a new guitar sound incomes throbbing in, this time with a keyboard behind it, its changed gears, darker like some kind of Cure demo. Those same scratchy chords are totally new because they decided to stray so heavily from what anyone else was doing. The falafel bit was just to throw me off, it's really about this darker new wave sound that's tacked on as an instrumental, I like the hell out of this. Its all about this rhythm thats slowly turned into a slow crawl, a much darker place. Great keyboard changes with a damaged wah guitar sound. It all ends when someone hits stop on the cassette.
The B-Side is untitled, or just 1. and takes those later damaged sounds from the previous side and really expands on them into a gary war, blank dogs place. The reverb and echo are evil and the distorted chords pace back and forth under a tom beat tribal and that echo seems to be the only instrument really rising to the surface of this late seance sound. Someone is making some kind of vocal noise that bounces around, indecipherable. Its nothing but noise here in this endless loop of a broken down Halloween house. They stop the tape again and a heavier tom beat stomps in with the craziest high hat hiss. A massive guitar is next almost jumping the needle and that sludge metal might see the light yet. These are monotonous nightmares, plodding and experimental in abandoning all the right ways into a thoughtful embrace of noise. Minimal repetitive noise. I have to wonder what that "Falfel" track was all about. Did they think I couldn't handle the darkness of this? The doom of the real Sloth? WE CAN GUYS.
Housefly fly stamped inner sleeve and hand numbered weirdness from Limited Appeal Records. Losing money and pressing only vinyl since 2007.

Sadly this is sold out from the source, so you'll have to try ebay. Sloth also chooses not to have an internet presence.

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