Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Straight A's / Prideswallower split on Noise Pollution Records

Got a couple of new releases the other day from the Louisville centric label Noise Pollution and I grabbed this cryptic looking cover to see what and who was a part of this one. It happens to be a split between The Straight A's and Prideswallower who are longtime punk rockers in the Louisville scene and I'll say it forever, for my money, I always lean towards the split single. More to like and chances are if they're curated correctly by a label like this...then you've just heard TWO new bands to check out. Somehow this one is pressed at 45 and The Straight A's jam three tracks onto the A-Side. "Sweaty Palms" shows how much they've been paying attention, sitting in front in class, raising their hands. It's going to be a complex ride. Don't let the whirling plastic tube future sound fool you, this thing goes straight into the heavy rock from somewhat weirdo guitars and ultra low end gritty bass, that rapidly changing time signature beating, clean in the middle of an empty room, the bare bulb swinging. There's an unsettling amount of synth sound where the guitars should be, and I'm starting to think it's got to be an impressive amount of effects being attacked by real arms adding up to a post-post-punk sound here. "I know you know I know" has the future electronic back blasting away in jittery spaz bursts, it's impressive how they're controlling these odd sounds and if they are actually guitar generated...well it's certainly some kind of impossible to decode future where they've developed a new kind of rhythmic structure that takes years of study.
"Concentric Circles" has even more work cut out for them, it's a serious study in further off kilter rhythm flipping, and they got straight A's for this project just in the insane amount of work planning these mathy punk tracks out and committing it to vinyl. It's hard to even get a handle on this vocal, I'm stuck back on these arrangements. Lots of call and response and abstract punk themes, but maybe that's the only shred of similarity to their 30 year old influences.
B-Side has Prideswallower up with "Don't Try" shreiking feedback of all forms lead to a heavy pounding drum, and they take their time really wallowing in those squeals so when this comes together in about thirty seconds it's going to be the tightest wall of chords, take that noise. The vocals on this one are super buried under a slow phasered delay that's matched with this high guitar melody blending together into something bigger than those pieces, really nice weird effect. The chorus switches to a throaty Seattle yell, and those beefy guitars rise out from the swirly delay for this agressive ass kicking.
"Suicide Note" sounds like Helmet back on Meantime, massive loud, layered bursts, odd timing (and tuning) is still a great sound and they're advancing the whole abandoned genre here. Slowly sweeping those gigantic sounds through their slow paces, vocally still reminding me of that whole Pacific Northwest sound, warbling through a growling phaser, doubled up in both channels. Fantastic grindy one note eeeeeeeeeeeeeee solo, because that's the kind of caveman wrecking ball required in just that spot. The kind of thing that takes it's time crushing everything in it's path.

On heavy white vinyl with lyric sheet from Noise Pollution Records

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