Friday, February 14, 2014

Fire Retarded on Gloryhole Records

Heather and Bobby from The Hussy were passing through Brooklyn last week with a little band called Nobunny. It was one of the sold out shows they were playing supporting that bad ass up and down the east coast and even shared the stage with Mr. No at Baby's All Right, I witnessed that freaking debauchery with my own forever scarred eyes. It's awesome to see a band that's been so great from the very first single and I get equally excited when so many other people start to see it too. Why am I even talking about Bobby and the Hussy in this post? Because in addition to running his label, Kind Turkey, Bobby has been recording and mixing his own records and this single from Fire Retarded (which I instinctually spell 'reatarded') he ended up playing guitar on and joined the freaking band for a tour and maybe for good(!) last month. I'm sure the rest of these guys are great too but Bobby's involvement had me reaching to throw this on the turntable the minute I opened it up.

On "High Horse" a fast back and forth snare and kick beat opens that drop of a thousand guitars which all pile in with layers of distortion and serious fuzz, bobby has added mystery muscle behind the grit and crunch. It's helped by Tyler Fassnacht on vocals who has a real aggressive growl. The drums smack away trying to rise above the thick muffle of this distortion that's got things tuned down to get the maximum lower end, or it's been eq'd with the treble straight exiled out of here. Sort of hardcore sounding if the garage rock slammed right into a semi truck full of marshall stacks. Real theatrical big sound to these guys, he's yelling his face off because he's got to get ahead of these guitars. A Milk Music amount of texture, or Mayyors, they come at this like it's some kind of personal attack, this means a lot and you better get out of the way.

Every time I think about it / I just want to break something.

Cymbal crashes bounce across channels, that low end butt hum of distortion is so blown out into the upper reaches it seems like the last thing mixed after everything was pumped through a PA and re-mic'd - you end up with those low frequencies that just push everything else out. Those poor speaker cones are working so hard to vibrate as wide as possible those high parts can just forget it.

B-Side's "Lost the Touch" right away rolls these four chord riffs bluesily running up and down the scale. A real serious dead eye chord with no sense of a party anywhere in sight. There's something real dark and low about this, they're maybe taking this seriously and trying to have fun in the process but it's all coming from a lot of shitty situations. Massive crazy solo. Those chords are back to just run faster and faster until the end. So much of a good thing like the rawness of the misfits, the vocals at first seem like an afterthought, spoken in a stuttered rhythm attempting to follow the melody but really about the drudgery of everyday bullshit. The chorus comes as that release from just checking out and just rolling over, this solo is another kick in the crotch. It's almost metal with how fast and technical this gets.  Next up, "Damaged Man" can't just seem to start unless it's at full speed. There's no zero to sixty, they start already in flight. Windmill chords do allow for some rest here, a little bit of zepplin echo and I'm hearing a lot of that southern skids classic rock stuff. Old muscle cars and moonshine. It sounds like they're primarily a live band that Bobby is doing his best to capture. They play the studio like that headlining spot - for themselves - forget the tape is even rolling. How many god damn guitars are at work here that's what I want to know. Huge finish blasting everything out, and they still come back for more. It completely won't quit messing with a lot of that old stuff that just worked and always will. A sort of pumped up Natural Child, they have those classic sounds down, the vocal is distanced and it's got those blues bones that then get energized with metal. Like Ty's latest Fuzz project, as piled up and balls out and keeps going because they just can't help themselves. That's coming from that love of performance and they ain't going to change for a 7".

The cover is a bloody shirt because a fight starts out immediately when they go on. It's late and someone gets too drunk and tries to get on stage, but it's not for amateurs. Fire retarded makes that clear in name and punches to the face.

On muddy orange red vinyl, let's say burnt retarded? On Gloryhole Records. Mary / Kill? Band name or the label? It's a tough one.

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