Back to the underground with a Tim Triplett band, Strange Matter who says:
We put this out independently. The Dirty Hippy Barn is where we live.That's all you need. This one is a split with fellow Milwaukee residents, Appleseeds and it's a pretty solid bet it's going to be one hell of a ride of hardcore punk speed and Beefheart chaos from both sides.
The Appleseeds side opens with "Wasted Time" that blows up with the kind of insane energy that Jay Reatard had across all of Blood Visions, I know that's a ridiculous comparison the first track in but Fly Steffens on vocals is the reason. She's doubling them up or maybe it's just her register combined with a manic pushed-too-far quiver that's what's hitting the same snarl. Could be this guitar style too like it's been punched in and layered over a million times then gated into some weird distortion stranglehold while the drums are buried and live sounding. "I Do" is a fantastic track about relationships and their fast as hell, punk pop sound is perfect and Fly's vocal is serious. She can really deliver a tight, controlled sound while the rest of the band is rehearsal room sounding in a great way. It's big but just because they managed to get all the mics lined up together after the fact. "Sour grapes" then goes into a more noise feel but backs around on itself with a darker punk sound, the guitars have more crunch and Fly harmonizes with herself while yelling - just when you thought this was all middle finger power pop they just got hardcore. This one deliberately falls apart for nearly a minute, almost the length of the song with delays, cymbal rides and loops that fade off into the distance. I think you can hear another band playing down the hall?
Strange Matter's side starts with "Long Walk" a thin sounding ripper with Tony on bass / vocals who's a real serious presence on this one. He's leading this chopped up chaos with his lyric built on nothing but thick, massive northwestern distortion sounds. It's the sound of completely giving up, breaking instruments while playing them, ignoring just about everything. Lots of tempo changes, from blast to sludge and Tony leads this right off the cliff. "Get Happy" can't be Tony anymore, unless they caught him on the upswing. "Think about the things that make you happy / I shit my pants once at an ATM" is my favorite lyric. A slower groove metal lounge and I think he says "I love Spoon?!" Then he slips up about his sexual preference and they have to spend the rest of this speed thrash trying to explain, really, really fast. "Party Animals" opens on warped cassette recording of a couple of parties cobbled together and a power chord instrumental intro that drops into heavy grind chords and frantic drum fills strung together. This is just the intro to their speed core free jazz sound. They launch into the only groove at the end of this that, of course, lasts no more than 15 seconds and we're back into this crazy party. GARY'S HERE! YEA!!!!
If you like the reverse cover of this single pictured above you should see the other side. Get it from visiting the Dirty Hippy Barn facebook (that's what I call facebook anyway) and asking or Appleseeds bandcamp.
Here's the appleseeds side - you have to tell Strange Matter to get their act together and post their side on bandcamp. Too much hippy in the dirty barn?