Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Kyle Kaos "Negi Zonin" on Party Nogg! Records
Kyle Kaos says that his latest single on Party Nogg! Records "...is about being stuck in the "Negi Zone" wandering through the gutters of midwest Babylon". Sounds to me like he's been making the best of a shitty situation over there. I know what it's like to be stuck in the Negi zone and it can be a killer. Stuck with a crap cassette 4-track, no instruments, no venues to play live...but those are just excuses. None of that has stopped Kyle from coaxing a power punk Ariel Pink sound of god knows what cast off gear and the results are completely fantastic.
"Stereogram" opens with slimy layers of a drum machine in a back and forth kick kick snare snare rhythm with cruddier bass. A phaser distortion vocal is nicely placed right in the middle with all kinds of snot and middle fingers. Like Nobunny, there's a character here spawned out of the midwest snowed under mess who's raging harder than he rightfully show know how. A solidly punk Jeff Novak influenced shadowy figure who's smack dab in the middle of the county for better or worse. The real perfection comes on the production of this, it's the kind of original that happens when you're trying hard just to get things down to tape the only way you know how. Hissy and desperate like Pink Reason and balls out garage like Useless Eaters. A serious talent and I haven't even gotten to the second track of this six song EP - at 45 mind you. "Hospital Eyes" starts with a heavy chunk of chords that comes off as an old karaoke cassette backup tape - total mud. I'm convinced it's these kind of limitations that get someone to embrace the scuzz like this. You can literally hear the order this was recorded in, plow straight down past that solo track into the distorted vocal and into a rhythm buried drum track. Put together it's the best opening title track for a terrible eighties B-movie, it's sincere as anything and in that selling of this crazy tune is how he pulls this off. It's as much a joke as you want to take it, there's no pretension here, but when the dust settles I don't know many bands that could pull this off, with or without equipment.
The A-Side ends with "Luck Has No Advantage", a sort of epic rock/punk sound that turns hardcore a few measures in perfectly combining these two ideas of that longing that quickly turns to fuck it. Then a change of heart and this slow jam comes back with kyle saying 'there's all these fucking bands anyway...' just muttering to himself on the corner, just about to do himself in. That's where you can almost hear the turning point from giving up to fighting back with the best end lyric about hippies leaving jean jackets in his bathtub.
B-Side's "System of Decadence" continues this perfect unhurried ancient technology sound with heavy metal paired chords coming across with a Cars feel, but nailing the punk side of Ariel. The perfect amount of dirt and nostalgia on every instrument. A real triumph of no-fi because all your left with is honesty and feeling if you really just CAN'T get past the tonal quality of this.
Airy synth opens "My Punk Name" with sparse bass and Kyle is on a far off telephone line, layering in talky vocals as the loneliest punk here. Already willing to go some far reaching places, he's expanded his palette on this one into experimental pop depression that doesn't feel sorry for itself...just about to rock. I still can't get over that there are this many tracks on this single this good.
"No Alternative" is trying to completely bury the needle in this already straining equipment, just a massive fast and loud launched into the far reaches of treble hiss, headbanging the bass away.
This guy is completely fucking great, already feeling bad I missed this for the year end lists but he dropped me a line that Posi-zonin should be just around the corner. But don't miss out on this one, I'm already kicking myself.
Nice screened sleeve and minimal center labels from Party Nogg! Records.