Special Interest

Reviews

Special Interest Trust No Wave: The 2016 Demos LP

As we went to press, news off the wire is that New Orleans’ post-wave glam terrorists SPECIAL INTEREST have hooked up with storied post-punk purveyors Rough Trade to release the highly-rated group’s next full-length! Sorry, just testing out my music-weekly muscles. In anticipation, Disciples’ waxing of SPECIAL INTEREST’s first recordings arrives at the perfect time. Mainly, what these demos show is that SPECIAL INTEREST had it down from the jump—their sound was immediately striking and they have only managed to further hone it into something both freakier and more accessible. But you are not getting mere dregs and toss-offs here, these five-year old recordings more than hold their own. I kinda wish I could’ve seen SPECIAL INTEREST strafe an early 2000s electroclash party on Driggs Ave (Williamsburg, NY, USA), but it’s somehow far more satisfying to imagine them in an abandoned warehouse on the edge of a hidden New Orleans ward, camping coolers of Four Loko sweating as hard as the congregation of disparate strangers made instant friends by righteous noise bondage. These demos could have landed SPECIAL INTEREST anywhere: Wax Trax! in 1985, Industrial in 1979, Troubleman in 2003, Rough Trade in 1981 or 2021.

Special Interest The Passion Of LP

I gotta say it. SPECIAL INTEREST make me horny as fuck. Really. It’s the music I want to hear in the backroom of the leather bar instead of the endless tired techno and classic rock. Just get out your old Crisco-coated VHS copy of Cruising, put on any bar scene (not the GERMS one), turn down the volume, slap on “Disco III” and let the poppers fly. Spiraling was totally one of the best albums of 2018, and while The Passion Of may be a little less raw and primitive, it is still punk as fuck and fierce as hell. For the uninitiated or blissfully ignorant, SPECIAL INTEREST is the band you wanted to hear when all the glossy rags were blowing air about the second coming of No Wave, the Lower East Side in the ’90s, and posers like the YEAH YEAH YEAHS. It makes me think of groundbreaking queer punk like the SCREAMERS, LE TIGRE, or NERVOUS GENDER with some TANGERINE DREAM thrown in, backed with a trunk-thumping Miami bass beat and a Southern charm that makes it all sweet and OK as your head is bludgened in. To me, The Passion Of sees the band finding its confidence and creating a fully realized piece of art. The ominous openings of “Drama” slap into the hard thump of part three of the “Disco” trilogy (hopefully more?), followed by the breakout hit of the plague, “Don’t Kiss Me In Public.”’ “All Tomorrow’s Carry” is a slow drive-by headbanger while “A Depravity Such As This” is a delicious druggy sin. They educate you with the stomping-on-whitey anthem of “Homogenized Milk,” while “Head” is a personal B&D psychodrama. “Tina” is chemical Hades. “Passion” is synth violence. “Street Pulse Beat” drags you through the gutter looking gorgeous, and lastly, “With Love” kinda magically pulls it all together leaving you spent of fluids, vacant and smiling. Multiple showers and a good therapy session may be needed after listening. I can see SPECIAL INTEREST getting really big from this one and lord, they deserve it.