Post Radio [2xCS; Sunup Recordings]

But you’re completely alone, everything around you has been abandoned or is frozen, and searching for a signal is your only warmth. You crank the radio to life and continue your hunt for existence. Beyond now, you’ve reached a point where pupil dilation is at an all-natural high and colors sound you in darkness. The light has been out for months, both natural and electric, and the only community you have is distant voices staggering in and out of melody, and maybe that’s current, or a recording. Maybe that’s nature inflicting our radio waves: a hot mic left ON-AIR, broadcasting the wind bludgeoning the side of a radio hut. Staring into the void at your front and all around you, this basement swells with emptiness and echos. Out of the sound pours a mess of memory and drowns all your hope. No more tension. It’s cold, but not to your bones. Voices of ghosts surround your mentality, yet nothing but searing thought harkens hopeless humanity henceforth. Frustration turns off the sound. Evil compounds itself into piercing silence. Curiosity cranks the radio back to being. “Don’t be like that to me. Come back into this here. Where do we all?” Your lips crack blood from the cold, “Post Radio. Post Radio I am here. Consume me in comfort, and we’ll rot together.” So little emotion through such beautifully decayed facets.

Links: NYKDLN - Sunup Recordings

Spider Bags

“Papa Was a Shithead” b/w “I Wish That I Never Had Fed You”

[7-inch; Sophomore Lounge]

There’s a reason Sophomore Lounge is quickly worming its way into my ebon heart: it spits out records by the likes of bands such as Spider Bags. Hailed as a Replacements cum Townes cum Oblivions is high praise for a press junket, yet Spider Bags exceed the lofty praise in six solid minutes of 7-inch pleasure. A-side “Papa Was a Shithead” packs in a lot of melody in just over a minute, the ferocious punk assault softened by attention to detail (even if the repeatable chant of “Papa was a shithead” is juvenile in its cleverness). If you keep the turntable on repeat (and it’s tempting), you’ll miss the tender country jangle rock of “I Wish That I Never Fed You.” True to description, the band turn their punk sneer into roadhouse tear-jerking. The slide is pulverizing but not overpowering. It’s the music of hard necks, blue collar men with an adolescent pattern of looking for trouble but responsible for family and children. Digging deep into the soul of wantonness. Spider Bags — give me more.

Links: Sophomore Lounge

Weird TV

Weird TV

[12-inch; Perennial]

So many obstacles in the way of making their sound work, and yet Weird TV thrive in the seedy underbelly so few explore with ferocity, hitting on Bleach and a simple-stupid approach to punk. Right out of the gate, you get the Spanish SHRIEKS from a female Choking Victim, and it hurts so good. No, really; they sound like they might be damaging the person producing them. But that’s for god to worry about, right? We just need to get what we can out of it. A lot of questionable melodies will send a few folks running, so that’s your call. I think the good outweighs the bad, though you could argue for an all-scream, all-in approach. But hey, this ain’t a fuckin’ debate. I’m just trying to down as many Steel Reserves as I can before the sun rises. I’m glad to hear a record like this come out in the first place, laid bare as it is. Is it maybe okay to pine for the punk of the late 1990s? NO, but we shouldn’t rule out pushing things forward.

Links: Perennial

Sensate Focus

Déviation Heat-treated

[12-inch; PAN]

Mark Fell’s house of post-techno cards has relentlessly been crashing as a sub-division of Editions Mego. A stack of 12-inch records are piling up, each less derivative than the last. Fell’s sensual work hearkens to a time when going to the club was a part of innocent sexualization, boys and girls trading body blows and buckets of sweat in a safe environment, free of the excess and see-me culture that has now enveloped hotspots and ravers. Tits, abs, and ass are all well and good, but in the end, the music should be as challenging as it is catchy. Which is why Déviation Heat-treated exists. Sensate Focus moves onto PAN as a response to a Heatsick EP. Fell transforms repetition into thinking music without losing an ounce of je ne sais quoi. Beats moving, bodies moving, minds moving. It’s a full workout for all those hippie spirits and organs without losing the modern electro-edge needed to stay in front of trends. If nothing else, it’s a studio audience away from being “Club MTV,” and who doesn’t want “innocent” up-skirt camera shots of Downtown Julie Brown? It’s either that or stare at the memorizing art as the LP locks onto the turntable. You are getting very glittery. You want to dress in loud colors. You want to take this happy pill.

Links: PAN

Chris North

Near Far All We Are

[10-inch; Whitehaus]

I’m so fuckin’ predictable. Of course I like the REMIXES on Near Far All We Are more than the SONGS!? That makes so much UNsense, and yet I knew within five seconds of hearing Chris North’s well-intentioned version of “I Gave Life to Love” (and I’ve lent him props via Cerbs in the past) that this would be the case. Suffice to say, Many Mansions give “I Gave Life to Love” (don’t like the title) the facelift it needs, then there’s a recording of waves. Side B lends “The Nature of Love” (What’s up with those titles? Shit, man.), a much better acoustic slide down country lane, and “US 1 North,” a decent stripped-down number that reminds me of long drives in the 1980s, back when Lightfoot was on the radio and my dad drove a station wagon. Then “The Nature of Love” gets remixed and, again, I prefer it this way. All in all, Near Far All We Are is a lot better than I thought it was going to be when that first track hit. I can live with this, particularly by dint of the strangely effective tactic of remixing indie-country. Strange days, bro.

Links: Whitehaus

Thousand Foot Whale Claw

Time Brothers

[CS; Holodeck]

The rough draft — the scourge of public schooling. Chided for writing ideas, just capturing the outline of thoughts. But what if the rough draft was the finished product, brainstorming rewarded and creativity embraced in favor of wringing out personality to complete a five-paragraph essay on the moon landing or on why Holden Caulfield is a mirror of ourselves? Literary malarkey destroying exploration that demands deeper attention. Thousand Foot Whale Claw doesn’t fall for the traps; English teachers be damned (as they have been in ‘murican school systems the past 35 years)! Time Brothers is the rough form of the Austin band’s more “polished” releases, but in this moment, the rough sketches are the meat. Thirty-minute opus “Fleshcave”: the tethered ramblings of that high guy who became a neurosurgeon. “Slobos”: the work of the Goth girl who became a premiere fashion designer in love with color and couture. It’s the world of Thousand Foot Whale Claw, a band in the roughest form producing music of the greatest impact. Sorry, Ms. Shirley Lyster; you couldn’t tame me and you can’t tame Thousand Foot Whale Claw.

Links: Holodeck

Servile Sect


[12-inch; King of the Monsters]

Most who have heard Servile Sect end up paying attention, or at least that’s my experience; few defectors because SS give today’s enlightened metalheads a little bit of everything, Svrrender serving as an apt microcosm of their forward-thinking milieu: BM overlords, secret prog operatives, a definite drone agenda, and a dose of liquid death. I like the unavailable, often unpredictable twists and turns of Liturgy efforts, but the Sect offer a much more satisfying, well-thought-out approach to what may very well be the future of this screechy, scratchy, scrappy hard/heavy stuff. Their deeper double-bass thrashes dig as deep as any Nachtmystium cut, while their razor-sharp noise cuts as severely as what you might expect from WTZ Hearts. Handmade Birds released Svrrender on cassette awhile back, and now it’s vinyl’s turn care of KoTM, on cosmic split-pea-green wax. Great to see such a worthy release presented in such flattering fashion, a nice follow-through on that clear-with-glow-in-the-dark-splatter LP (Realms of the Queen) that blew minds last year. Snuff this one up, cadets.

Links: Servile Sect - King of the Monsters

Satanic Rockers


[7-inch; Quemada]

The A-side is one big joke by a band dubbing themselves Satanic Rockers and drenching itself in thick metal sludge, as if to prove their worthiness in the eyes of beer-binging outcasts holed up in abandoned industrial complexes. It’s The Warriors redone by the masterful eye of Tommy Wiseau. The B-side is where it’s at: the shtick running its course in the span of one track, the band’s real roots showing. It’s punk and garage; laissez faire noise on the low end. If you’re to be a beacon for the dark lord, this will yield Beelzebub unlike the A-side’s childish incantation to Voldemort.

Links: Quemada

Burial Hex

Six Wings

[12-inch; Nostilevo]

Six Wings is a departure for Burial Hex in my eyes, though I’m sure his elbow-deep discog has taken several turns. Still, it’s almost as if Clay Ruby and William Cody Watson shook hands on an ambient-drone pact, with Cody Watson handling the sky and the clouds and Ruby specializing in plumbing the pits of hell. When given the choice, I’m always going to return to my predilection for black, charred soundscapes, and BH, no matter the chosen terrain, strike a mean stance. Low, guttural rumblings cover more subtle tones like an avalanche for much of the record, the occasional snarl (real, or imagined?) descending to lead us into the shadows forever. There are great rewards lying in wait if you allow Six Wings to take flight, particularly during the latter-third of each side, registering somewhere in between Sutekh Hexen and Babe, Terror, which is a great place to be. A deluxe version with two extra tapes and other goodies, in an edition of 33, has sold out, but the record is still out there.

Links: Nostilevo

Alexandre Navarro


[CS; Constellation Tatsu]

The sound of dreams has long been a pursuit for the music creative. Abstract sounds rattling around in the subconscious spliced onto reel-to-reels. It’s been a career-defining ambition for more than a few failed composers, but not for Alexandre Navarro. Sketches captures the airhead quality of sound as it enters the ears from all directions and timbres. It also doesn’t ambitiously strike out to make angelic melodies that envelop a room, choosing to abide by the minute fractures we glimmer in our sleep. Sketches is a dream journal, groggily scribbled in only to be indecipherable by the morning. It keeps Navarro’s vision static and Sketches worthy of infinite listens. It’s best to fast forward, hit play randomly, and be taken on a new journey. It exists in the realm of forgotten imagination, so less Freud and more Gondry.

Links: Constellation Tatsu

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.