Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Carton / Alpha Cop split on Negative Fun Records
It's perfect that Negative Fun is two friends Chris DeFusco and Jon Whitney who moved apart and planned a split series with the bands of each respective area. It's personal and also tries to tie regions together thematically. I can relate to that idea a lot, having friends relocated all over the place and trying to talk about our respective local scenes...I would honestly love a podcast where two semi-related bands talked directly to each other about that stuff. These two bands however, Carton and Alpha Cop are kind of doing just that on this record. Related in weird ways, I'm constantly making new connections between the two thanks to the Negative Fun founders.
On A-Side the boys from New Hampshire, Carton come up with "Fingertips" and a burst of feedback with guitars cutting a wide swarth through the landscape before coming together in this jangly single note rhythm. I've always been into that heavy, hard repetition because when this finally hits that chorus it's such a relief. Tight snares, high pitch pounding like Pile with some mathy elements. They create weird staggering rhythms that pitch and yaw but keep flying at a fantastic place. It slows into fills but providing this bizarro world for how sleek and fast the rest of this has been. There's a lot of atmopsheric feedback and and backing vocals that keep those dense layers as thick as possible. Ryan's yelling from the back of the room on this one, you can hear the shiny bathroom tiles that send the sound of this into every corner and back out again. That kid on the cover definitely started that fire. I think they might have gotten a little out of control, surprised how big this got. He didn't mean it. Oh well, too late now. No amount of quiet calming parts are going to ever make me forget those power sections of messy electric and feedback.
B-Side's Alpha Cop from North Carolina get into "The Low Flags" which has a Modest Mouse style, in vocals and their off kilter groove or even Cap'n Jazz...I know it doesn't seem like those two would be related. This is more concerned with the melody at first and then settling into a beaten, tired tone that quickly turns around on the listener getting heavy and throbbing with a vibrating distortion and bassline that winds around in on itself in a perpetual spiral. This section of repetition and loops becomes almost like Tool's dark, primitive metal sound. His vocal is damaged from the back of the chapel but in a great original way, a yell that isn't trying to break vocal chords, it's just controlled and defiant. It drops down to just a kick and subtle electric melody and a violin creeps in, high and out of place. A fleeting, alien sound in the middle of this aggressive chaos, a calm end to the storm that came on before you noticed and now it's wet as hell.
On white vinyl from Negative Fun Records, word is their running low on copies.