THE SOFT PINK TRUTH/ Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Soft Pink Truth
SPT for a few years has been an outlet for the sweatier boot-ay-shush leanings of Mr. Drew
Daniel, one half of hidden sound purveyors Matmos, and this time a fine back catalogue of
hardcore punk as well as art-punk covers from the US and UK get the electro rock treatment.
And what great ones they are: Die Kreuzen's "In School", Minor Threat's "Out of Step" and
Nervous Gender (great LA goth-synth-punk band who had a little kid playing drums) get the
frazzled dancefloor treatment. Various guests including Blevin Blectum and Dani Siciliano
take part, and huge thumbs up on Vicki Bennett's cold mistress reading of Crass' "Do They
Owe Us a Living?" Of course they fucking do!
ARANOS / Tangomango (Pieros)
"Kachetic Japanese girl in snowy swimming pools/Where the Blue Field hover and voiceless
torrents dream/Thousand insects cooling sea/Slowly Deer draws thought/Ice butterfly
sneezed/Sea that life exposed." Hardly the lyrical content you could expect from your
average Gypsy violinist, but Aranos is cut from quite an unusual cloth. This Bohemia-born
multi-instrumentalist has performed with assorted folk ensembles and jazz groups since age
8, and in recent years fell in with both Current 93 and Nurse With Wound, experiences which
have obviously allowed stranger and definitely electroacoustic tinged elements filter into
his solo output. Tangomango reads with a minimal approach, mainly voice and violin and as
the title suggests is completely soulful and danceable, but as the album moves forward,
"Broken Eights" appears like a totally fractured vocal piece ala Swedish experimentalist Ake
Hodell while still swinging like a Paolo Conte piece. Comes packaged in a silky sack as
VARIOUS / Niacin Sun
It's a sad, sad thing that this issue of Seymour Glass' Bananafish is going to be the last
ever. Since the late 80's, this thing has been a veritable bible of eccentric sounds written
in a singularly unique (and confusion-inducing) voice. While you tried to decode the found
letters, oblique prose and reviews, the mag put music like the Sun City Girls, Thinking
Fellers, Boredoms, Dead C et all into the spotlight miles ahead of the pack, all celebrating
the destruction and deconstruction of music and zine culture, it has truly been one of the
only reads that takes its matter seriously while avoiding the rock-criticism pitfalls of
self-importance. Some of the back issues have been bound into books, you need them in your
life. In the meantime, this final issue appears with another CD sampler of freeform
weirdness. Burning Star Core drones, Monotract squelches, there's a lo-fi symphonic piece
from Nelson Gastaldi, and very disturbing found cassettes from experimental sound artist Joe
Colley where clearly a woman is exasperated trying to get her husband to put his pants on,
breaking down and sobbing into the tape recorder at the end of it all. It's these private
sounds that Bananafish has inserted into your cranium to be yours to have and interpret.
We'll miss it terribly.
TIME FLYS / Energy
Totally raw, pounding punk rock for those needing a good dose of Heartbreakers and Crime.
Unlike some of the more cosmetic-obsessed elements of the Dolls-aping scene these days,
these guys from the Bay Area (with the Cuts' guitarist) go right for the jugular and don't
mess around. I hear 10 CD's a day with the guitar/bass/drum punk aesthetic and lately it's
taken a lot to turn my head in this format, I have to say. I don't know what else to say.
They're a quartet, maybe Little Steven will like them, I dunno. There's two singles, I am
sure the album will kill.