Friday, June 13, 2014

Crosss / Astral Gunk split on Pleasance records

I haven't come across Pleasance Records out of Toronto until they brought this split to my attention from two bands in their part of the world, Crosss and Astral Gunk. If there's any reason for these two to be separated by a millimeter of plastic it's that they seem to be working in a dark psych rooted in slow dirge metal with scatological experiments in the cheeks of The Butthole Surfers.

The A-Side from Crosss "Spectre” has a weird clunky rhythm, a jagged post punk lurching under a warble of watery chorus chanting ‘white spectre. Barred bass chords and dripping reverb chorus effects build the rhythm up to this quarterpipe ramp and slide back down to the center. The whole operation goes smooth and then hits chunks again. So weird and clean, the minor chords and slick solo, a lot of well loved ‘90s elements and this heavy use of bass for more than just single note melodies is the main source of thick sludge here. Mathy changes and polished choruses that rise out of this goop, with fantastic, distanced, woeful vocals from the bottom of this hole. These guys are trapped at the bottom of this well and don’t want to get out, who asked you to save them? They're doing just fine honing the cutting power of the minor seventh. The rolling indie chunk rock. A horny Sebadoh.

Astral Gunk on the B-Side starts “Seven" with insane toms beats, a jackhammering of a crappy garage, the cramps on haunted speed, the vocals yelling with reverb, making sure the punk part is sufficiently covered. Screechy with all the treble up, metallic as hell chewing tin foil each hissy hit. The reverb and echo are fighting each other over this high speed train, battling right on the top with a tunnel coming just up ahead. Who’s going to jam who’s head into the side of the mountain and come out on the other side? It grew into something too quick and all of a sudden an atmospheric groove with a little psych takes hold like the Make Up. The creepy sexiness, the unhinged seduction of those records. They aren't overworking this track, there's a lot of raw emotion in the middle that ends with the tape coming to a complete halt. The 2 inch reel to reel stops on a dime transferring this to the vinyl.

Get this from Pleasance Records


  1. You had me at "horny Sebadoh."

  2. Sebadoh with horns, or with a boner - take your pick.