Friday, May 1, 2015
Room 101 "Vox Humana" on X-Mist / Beau Travail Records
DIY is the one man band. There is nothing more punk rock, more hardcore than one guy out there like Room 101, saying his peace without the help from anyone - well that's not true of course he's got help from a lot of people as the liner notes will attest. I think it's about having that drive to work on this project, playing shows, traveling, putting songs together...it's all motivated by that one person. If you don't feel like doing something than it's not going to get done. To be working in this hardcore punk style can't come easy either, conjuring up this energy when the rest of the world is asleep but you are fucking pissed about these god damn drones. It's the most boring job in the air force which is inevitably going to lead to a bunch of fuck ups, but it's just a video screen in a far away country - who cares. Room 101 gets me fired up about this stuff again and takes me right back to Bedtime For Democracy which was designed by Winston Smith, who put this sleeve together. Things never change, you just get older.
A-Side's "Drone War" drops the mechanical hardcore right on the first beat with regular bursts of kicks and tambourine hits, screaming that title lyric 'DRONE WAR!'. Room 101 has always been political from the beginning and I get too complacent listening to nice reverb songs about getting fucked up and the beach. There's real shit going on and maybe I don't want to deal with it, but it's not getting any better. The only way I can imagine Roburt doing this himself is with the help of a shitty drum machine track but it's not sounding like the usual crazy electronic punk like Sick Thoughts, DD Owen, there's more of a pop punk sound here with layers of handclaps and those guitars leaning towards a little garage. It's got all the jagged starts and stops of tirelessly going after these gated guitar bursts. Roburt's clearly just messing with us coming up with a catchy pop handclap chorus about dying and celebrating. Reminds me of another punk band that I used to skate to in the garage.
"Exterminate Adult Thinking (featuring XVC)" a slow ride cymbal leads to a relentless 4/4 at spastic speed but the guitar is cranking this even faster forcing that machine part to give up, this hardcore John Henry isn't going to be led by this tempo. More of that jagged punk that fires in machine gun bursts. Also the track isn't about just exterminating the thinking but literally get rid of those jerks who can't think outside that adult box, like say for example that maybe people who want to get married can? Damn this is getting me all riled up like Fox News.
The B-Side's "Boiys" has a smirking waltz rhythm of laid back organ and muted chords talking about this plague of boys at brunch and being sassy. I like this more subtle and twisted look at contemporary culture, you don't go after the obvious targets, it's about that weirder bigger picture while you poke fun at your own instrumentation at the same time. At the risk of not being cool you write the weirdest goofy carnival song sneering alongside your subject? It's not an obvious direction and what makes it that much better in the end, a direct result of a singular twisted vision just doing whatever the hell he wants.
Lots of inserts; fake money and a sticker to 'support the war machine', lyric sheet, liner notes and a picture of Roburt about to wipeout on the floor from singing like a maniac and thrashing all over the place.
Contact Roburt (room10101 at hotmail) for this one unless you live in europe and lucky you, it's down the street at X-Mist and Beau Travail Records.