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RATING: 9/10 – TOP TRASH

When the Nubians set up at Lulu’s in Brooklyn a few months ago, everyone was unprepared. Even the band themselves. Due to nonsensical customs laws, the Montreal trio were wildly short on equipment. One of the guitarists was using my amp and the other resorted to plugging in to the dreaded P.A. (which may as well stand for Pussy Amp, the way those things neuter guitar tones). But these shortcomings didn’t phase ‘em in the least; they seemed unflinchingly calm, even suspiciously unruffled about the sorry state of their inventory. I realized later that it was us in the crowd, not the band, who were the truly ill-equipped ones. No one properly braced themselves, not me or anyone else in that quaint little pizza bar for the wildest, loudest, most artfully unhinged, maniacal set this side of 1983.

Needless to say, the sound guy cut them off half way through. The only band that I’ve seen pull off this level of controlled insanity was a CRAZY SPIRIT set at Death By Audio a year ago. Both bands feature flailing powerhouse drummers, a crafty use of guitar feedback, and intelligently dumb, erratic compositions to ensure that punk isn’t a dead or hackneyed genre just yet. To call The Nubians “garage punk”, “art punk”, “noise” or “hardcore” is to belittle their bombastic, gigantic sound. The Nubians are an organism that lurches and lifts off with unpredictable vigor. I can’t even fucking review this shit properly. If you like music that blows your head off (in a REGISTRATORS/PUFFY AREOLAS/CHEATER SLICKS vein) than listen to the Nubians. They are the nicest guys ever playing mean, explosive music.

Listen to their tape here (for the love of god, someone, put this out on vinyl)
http://nubians.bandcamp.com/

Casette Cover

RATING: 7/10

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I came across this cassette by Montgomery, AL’s Japanese Women, but when I saw the cover, I expected ugly – and I definitely got it…in a great way. This cassette, released on Tapes of a Neon God (http://tapesofaneongod.com/) is 9 tracks and 18 minutes of gut-churning, groaning noise. Opener “A Baby Coyote” lurches out of the gate with a sea-sick slouching riff, before launching into a churning whirlwind, backed up by solid drumwork. It’s anybody’s guess what vocalist Weston is on about – his lyrics are buried in about 2 feet of fuzz – but I did catch the Black Flag-copping ending. So far, so good – almost reminiscent of a less cool and more misanthropic BRAIN F/

From there, the Women move into “Vulgar Tongues,” a mid-tempo tune built on dissonant chunky riffs and Weston’s broken glass and cigarette vocals. Though it’s reminiscent of a grosser A-FRAMES or SWANS, stripped of the lyrical satire or gothy melodrama, the song doesn’t make as much of an impression as the last one. The same is true for the next couple songs – though “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” opens with a cool, restrained creep, it descends into the same bashing concrete-block riffs. The rhythm work is solid, but the Women make a little too much use of the same sounds – though I dig the fact that the guitars on this sound like they were thrown out of a moving car, then re-tuned by a deaf man – I could use a little bit more variety, especially when songs stretch on for 2 or 3 minutes. Things pick up again with “Mayan God of Death Eats The Young Corn God,” which is abrasive, brash, and shitty in the best possible way. With guitars distorted and abused to almost sound like horns…fuck, this is what noise-rock ought to always be. Then it’s gone, closing with a slithering low guitar line.

After two more tracks of crash’n’bash riff’n’screech, “Bessie Rice and Ellie May” closes out the record with a thundering barrage out of nowhere, which evaporates barely 30 seconds later. The record simply vanishes – it’s like being lead around to different walls for 9 hours and forced to bang your head off of all of them. “Order” is an endurance test, despite the short runtime. There’s not really a bad track on here – though there are bits of filler in the middle, there’s moments of really great stuff.

LISTEN: http://japanesewomen.bandcamp.com/

BUY: http://tapesofaneongod.bigcartel.com/ $6 PPD

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