Now [7-inch flexi; Joyful Noise]

You forgot about Monotonix didn’t you? Who can blame you, the band is extinguished, gone, kaput for all intents and purposes. But time doesn’t forget and here, in the now–and oddly on “Now”–the band is giving a warmly received farewell. The minimal bursts of repetitive guitar and the rattling bass still feel energetic. There’s life behind this supposed hideaway, stashed until this particular moment because we need it “Now” more than ever. Yes, a pun. We need those too. And more shirtless hairy gentlemen who care not about coiffed hair and get-ups. We need the rock and Monotonix, even in the afterlife, deliver. And you can only hear it by griping the flexi by its bulbously skinny square–no digital on this series, just the sound produced by a whirling table and needle.

Links: Joyful Noise

Joey Molinaro

The Mephist

[CS; Auris Apothecary]

Dare I say Joey Molinaro marries solo strings/noise/exp. to stripped-down An Albatross metal by way of Husk Records? Not sure where else to go with this, so that’ll have to do. Absolutely drilling when it wants to be, Mephist also dabbles in enough noise-splice to qualify as… potential Load Records status, if I’m being honest. Produce these guys a little better (or don’t; I’m cool with that too) and shit could get epic. We’re talking Daughters-level grindcore guitar slides beneath the tape-gunk murk, hiding in plain sight, double-bass blasting away into the night. Quite a lot of surprises gift-wrapped inside this same-program-both-sides cassette, from the label that loves you long time. Still copies around too, though never for long if AA’s past is any indication.

Links: Joey Molinaro - Auris Apothecary


Destroyers of the Moon

[LP; Behind the Door]

Can you remember the last time you witnessed something truly beautiful? Not in relation to a person or a place–those pock every Instagram and Facebook account from here to eternity–but an event, a happening, or a chance that took your breath away and made you reassess your values? It’s likely you have, and for that Owlfood have the soundtrack for it. Frozen in time, Destroyers of the Moon speaks to the weight demise of the satellite we most take for granted. If the celestial orb were to disappear (say from the CIA blowing it up to show America’s might), don’t focus on the ruined gravitational forces or tidal destruction but on the beauty that a moonlit night provides. That faint glimmer of hope turns to rubble, which turns to anger. These volatile mood shifts caused by such destruction are the same within Destroyers of the Moon. It’s brooding and plodding, but the moon’s removal from our nightly skies would be a gorgeous catastrophe in and of itself. And in those moments of loathsome solitude in the midst of pitch blackness, Owlfood is our new definition of vanity.

Links: Owlfood - Behind the Door


Wave Lair

[12-inch; These Are Not Records]

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought to myself, “Damn, this sounds like Brocade” since Landing dropped the deceivingly effective, minimal post-prog full-length in 2005. While Wave Lair doesn’t sound anything like the work I’ve heard from the now-trio in the past, it retains the subtle nuance and delicate drift I’ve always ascribed to them. The final cut, an 18-minute thumper and title track, tells the story best: It’s lonely out in the desert, and since we’re not in a hurry let’s make the best of it. Jessica Bailiff-esque vocals join in soon, and while a few of the synth trills are a bit obnoxious, the atmosphere is ripe for the melting of minds as more of those bass-y, processed beats churn underneath. Later on, as the track is petering out, droning strings and throbbing bass form the crust of an underworld excursion that yields the best results, the rhythms kicking and hitching and chugging. This one came out in December 2012 so don’t feel bad if you missed it; just rectify the situation. I’ll wait.

Links: Landing - These Are Not Records

Justice Yeldham

Popped in the Head All the Time Now

[12-inch; Feeding Tube]

You might say Justice Yeldham’s Popped in My Head All the Time Now is the prototypical Feeding Tube release, but that almost sounds limiting. Let’s just call it a good drilling, Yeldham strangling long stretches of noise like a maniacal killer. The closest connection might lay in the pedal daring of Mincemeat Or Tenspeed, though more like Excite Bike than Pole Position and with a vicious air about it, as if someone stuck a knife in an inflatable pig and threshed it around as it squealed for its life. Also, a lot of that Ultramarine stuff (Nina Morgia, etc.) has a comparable vibe. Not much of a grading curve from Side A to B. More balloon animals, wriggling ribbons of electricity, manipulations, and getting on the last of nerves, if that suits you. I find it an interesting release but it really hurts to listen to. You have to want it.

Links: Justice Yeldham - Feeding Tube

Inspector 22

Passin Time

[12-inch; Hot Releases]

Inspector 22’s little-watched full-length on Odessa a few years ago served as a serially strange update on garbage-folk that came out of nowhere and turned a lot of heads around here (here being my listening room, ‘a lot of heads’ being mine). Guess what, dipshit? He’s back and full of super-baked beans, a cluttered, cocky mix of Jagger, Moldy Peaches, Pumice, Daniel Johnston, and, first and foremost, early, rough-sounding Neutral Milk Hotel. Todd Emmert is angry, yes, but perhaps confused more than anything else. He relates it well, and when you listen to it you feel less confused yourself. This is only one of the ways we suck the souls of our heroes dry; embrace it. A lot of folks (get it?) ventured into melodica territory back when Banhart was the big fuzz, but few did so with the dignity of Inspector 22, and that’s true of most of the experiments undertaken here, riffs snapping like a beef-jerky bite. Don’t limit this edition.

Links: Hot Releases

J. Fernandez

No Luck/Fading Out

[7-inch; Lake Paradise]

The clamor toward the genius of Jon Brion has quieted just as quickly as it rose, and though Brion’s talents are no less palpable, it does seem his star has diminished with his mainstream dalliances. So there are those who search out his worthy successor. And though I would not want to put that pressure on J. Fernandez, on the strength of the two lovely pop gems encompassed on this 7-inch, his ascension to those lofty heights and weekly showcases at a smoky, mythical lounge do not seem impossible markers. A string of small releases and some solid pub are the rage no matter the talent, but that Fernandez has an array of sound and flexible ideas easily demonstrated over just two low-key songs make him a must-watch. Like, moving to Chicago and stalking him. David O. Russell and Kanye will come calling! WHY DON’T YOU RETURN MY LETTERS? I CAN SEE YOU!

Links: J. Fernandez - Lake Paradise

Jeff Mellin

Smile Like A Lemon Peel, Kiss Like A Paper Cut

[7-inch; Where It's At is Where You Are]

7 singles released via 7-inch on the 7th of participating months. It’s all too confusing. But not as confusing as this piece of pop throwback, as energetic and surprising as the only Jay Bennett & Edward Burch album. Yes, pop is not a dirty term down here though we drown it in mayo like the Dutch do french fries (so I’ve been led to believe). But this is sugary sweet happy-go-lucky bonanzas and we can’t disguise the flavor no matter the condiment. Even fish sauce can’t wash out the taste of sunshine and rainbows. But a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, and whatever medicine you’re on will be coated by bubblegum Motown A.M. Mmmm mmmm!

Links: Jeff Mellin - Where It's At is Where You Are

Nazi Gold

Message of Love

[LP; Super Secret]

Think they’re gonna have to change that name? Nazi Gold don’t need to worry about their sound, at least, as it’s unique and well-practiced enough to make you forget about the ineptness of the last 23 post-punk bands you’ve heard. Message of Love is infected with that strange rhythmic jumpiness, albeit on a simpler scale, that rendered Joggers and Foals such attractive possibilities for many, and the choruses are anthemic without cheapening the deal. Even when you can tell a song isn’t one of the grade-A cuts, there’s appeal. Unexpected left-turns into long, patient instrumental head-churns abound, too, so getting bored isn’t an option. Seek out “Criminal” for the best, brightest buzz, as damaging as Nazi Gold get. This song is so strong you wonder what NG could do with a little more consistency (“Breaker,” too; good shit). “Stop” has a bassline straight from that first Dears EP, a slow grind that can’t help but work, though it won’t exactly cause you to jump out of your seat. Same with “River”: real pleasant and all in a A Place To Bury Strangers way, but not quite kick-ass. Still, rock that can’t stop, won’t stop is usually a winning proposition, and Message of Love is exactly that.

Links: Nazi Gold - Super Secret



[LP; Experimedia]

Superstorms’ self-titled LP is juicy and ripe, electric like empty fields at night with the wind rustling through and occasionally very quick to unchain itself from the shackles of dronedom. Side A gets jumped in rough and random, as if the composition had been playing all along before you even laid the needle down. Scratch-y drift bolstered by train-on-track rumbles, and there seems to be an undercurrent of synth buzzing around underneath it all, like lifting a rock and seeing an insect orgy scatter around. Later, xylophone makes a surreal appearance, as do other, more subtle accoutrement. That’s just a set-up; in a minute the music is throbbing, getting so loud you may have to adjust the volume (if you want to miss the whole point). It’s tough to feel sober listening to this. Side B is even better, cloaked in dread yet eventually sparkling like a fine jewel glinting in underwater sunlight (hey if there’s moonlight there’s gotta be sunlight). Superstorms, nee Mike Tolan, truly master the art of the extended, pitch-bent-to-hell drone here, delivering edgy, prog-fried enlightenment that constantly sprays the ear with fresh mists. Later on, a slow, chiming guitar, later a bass maybe, make appearances, as if to reattach us to reality. It’s only a ruse, however. Soon, you will be airborne again. Pour some water on those rocks boys…

Links: Superstorms - Experimedia

Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d'art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.