Reviews

Feeding Tube

Mars Mars Archives Volume 3: N.N. End LP

Collection of live recordings of the No York epitome. It’s live in a barely-produced way, not making favors for the listeners who have to get into both MARS and this recording quality. MARS was the type of No Wave band that focused a lot on guitars. It feels in general as though we were teleported into the body of a guitar—that is how loud it is. Instinctively primitive or thought-out compositions, I cannot tell, but it is as experimental as art, which makes people feel uncomfortable. So heads can be scratched to what the fuck is happening here, but all you need to focus on whether you enjoy it or not. It’s super noisy, chaotic, destructive, sometimes violent, sometimes dreamy guitar music. It’s dense but not fast, as repetitive as meditation while never getting boring. Songs sound like someone just recorded how rusty iron bars were drawn around on a rustic surface while some disturbed person was yelling in the back. Or a car was beaten with baseball bats while people had intercourse in it. But it is a record; therefore you can enjoy all these surreal soundscapes from the safety of your home, or be brave and take it out to anywhere with your portable listening device. The idea is that you are just as free as MARS, who here are collecting some of the extremes of being human and playing it through who knows what. You can study art and have some highbrow opinion of what they do, but really if you like noise and you think life is crazy, then take a try with this record.

Monoshock Runnin’ Ape-Like From the Backwards Superman: 1989-1995 2xLP

A reissue of a reissue, really: that ol’ SS Records singles/demos CD from a decade or so back gets a proper vinyl enshrining. No complaints, as this is some of my absolute favorite music from the era. Peripheral outsiders-among-outsiders, MONOSHOCK, along with compatriots like THREE STONED MEN and ICKY BOYFRIENDS, loitered SF’s early ’90s punk scene with their far-reaching, loud-ass psych-punk swirl. I mean, c’mon: they backed up VON LMO! What’s key to note here is that the same energy current and spirit heard in the locale’s finest punk/garage “Budget Rock” offerings are also central to MONOSHOCK’s sound—it’s instantly recognizable and forever endearing. Sonically, it’s all throbber/pumper rhythms, pure non-stop push and this jaw-dropper up-top guitar mindset that sprouts from Detroit but reaches for the spaceways. Real feeling, pure expression, no rules and lotsa fuckin’ power. Too many hits, too: “Hawkwind Show,” “Change That Riff,” the best RADIO BIRDMAN and MIRRORS covers ever, on and on across four sides. Kudos to Feeding Tube for re-releasing this mandatory odd/sods compendium for us to boil ’bout (again). Incurably loose and so fiercely punk. Highest recommendation!