Pleasure Cross

Wait for the End

[12-inch; Iron Lung]

If you’ve ever been in a chokehold you know what it’s like to be taken hostage by Pleasure Cross and throttled until yr dead. But it’s not that simple; before your end you must rattle through two 45 RPM sides of post-power violence, quasi-metal scrum, only pausing for breathes and to wipe the tears of jubilation-mixed-with-sadness away. Like most worthwhile bands that rely on heaviness and heaviness alone to win the day, PC have done their homework. Wait For the End is full of diversions and digressions that trigger the ear and keep the brain occupied while the heart is being pounded and denied its ration of blood, the co-vocals ringing of Man Is The Bastard, a ton of old Ebullition/Corrosive bands (speaking of the later, some of that old LiA stuff is being reissued soon), and The Locust (which is not at all a slam in my book). Don’t forget the 45 speed, either. It, and the heavy deluxe vinyl, makes a huge difference; these aren’t just sub-level audio artifacts, they’re collectibles that’ll fuckin’ last. Is this brand of soul-cudgeling gaining new footing in the underground? Jesus Christ, I sure the-fuck hope so. Let’s get heavy.

Links: Iron Lung

Various Artists

Terrordome vol. VII

[CS; Live God]

“A new album from the master of terror and suspense,” read the words printed along the spine of this beast’s back. If you know Boy Froot, then you know these words aren’t exactly wrong. He’s the Murnau here of a film called “Terrordome vol. VII,” the next in the series of vicariously vicious villains, collected once again into scene after blood-curdling scene. This one’s just brimming with the gruesome, the gripping (A couple of chase scenes?), the psycho-sexual, the violent, all expertly orchestrated into a really cohesive mix of experimental hip-hop (although I’m remiss to call this stuff “hip-hop” exactly). The seventh TERRORDOME stands out a little from the previous six collections Froot’s assembled in that there’s no rapping or vocals whatsoever, save for a few samples, which is ok by me given the fact that the usual suspects (Bonglestar, WRS, Night Park) bring some of their best work to date. And that’s not to mention the new characters making their first appearances in this sequel. Of particular note is Foxtrot Stowaway, who steals the show early with the crawling second track, “Face Planting Castles,” a subtle banger that unwinds like a Detroit techno tune that’s been to hell and back. The whole scene these compilations represent, which includes ambient players, noise players, hip-hop players, synthscapers, beat-makers, on and on… it’s all just getting better and better while remaining criminally overlooked in experimental music circles. So jot a note down in your mental pad about Live God Records, Boy Froot, and the entire TERRORDOME gang now and impress your nerd friends at the next weirdo-convention before vol. VIII drops and blows everyone’s minds.

Links: Various Artists - Live God

Seeami x Albino Deers


[CS; Adhesive Sounds]

In a Venn Diagram which represents the music of the Olympic games and the music of the Eurovision Song Contest, the overlap is where Seeami and Albino Deers exist. A day in an age yet to come where traditional National Anthems cease to exist because they are too utilitarian, replaced by the works of wunderkinds that are shaping 21st Century works of musical art. When the pageantry of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies is also a heavily watched and voted content itself. Where everyone stands on a podium with their Uranium and Plutonium medals glowing brightly in a sea of humanity that is embraced by all in a swirl of post-20th Century sounds. It’s a lofty idealism instilled within (EP) but it’s there, proudly beaming. Where collaborators in New Zealand (I lost my bet) and Rome can come together to create music that is truly Olympian. Where we no longer care about who is most fashionable or which country dedicates more state funds to feats of athleticism, but where we cheer for the most heroic stories and the time honored tradition of (wo)men overcoming physical forces without bulldozing, slashing-and-burning, tunnel jacking, underwater drilling, et al.

Links: Adhesive Sounds

White Resin

Spirit 1992


Floating around my head, I find the image of a photograph heated with a lighter until it starts to ooze and blister, faces and environments running together in a toxic, blackened swirl. That image seems potent tonight; somehow the warm disintegration of memory is too on-the-nose. Along with it there is a noise so numbing, so single-minded in its drive that an intimation of fatalism settles in around the less distinct edges of my thoughts. There is a constant shredding and reconstruction of a dream, as though that is all I can do: what I have to do. I have abdicated my choice and now endlessly go back and tear it open, sift through its guts trying to figure out what part went so badly wrong. Then it must be reconstructed, pieced back together, as best can be remembered, only to obsessively rip it open once again, double-check every wire and gear, making sure it’s all just as it should be. Step back and it is not quite recognizable now, not accurate, not true. Maybe it’s best just to let the memory burn away, sweep up what can be salvaged, and take this tape out of my damned cassette deck.

Links: VAALD

Ryan Huber

Four Pi

[7-inch square lathe; Self-Released]

I remember the day this square lathe came in. I thought to myself, OK, review this one in a few days and MOVE ON! Then a few days became a week became a brain fuck so intense I didn’t land on my feet until just now (whenever THAT is). So… here we are! And Four Pi is spinning on my record player and kicking up a menacing little mini-ruckus that inches forward like a slug army taking a mountainside. Ryan Huber gives us the ol’ Fedora Corpse treatment: foggy dronoise that, at times, seems to contain a rhythmic pulse, albeit a barely detectable one. Huber dons static noise like dark shades, slipping into alleyways and playing through before you know what hit you. I’m not trying to phone in this review but there’s only so much I can say. I like what I hear so far, a lot, but what’s next (OK I actually know what’s next)? It would be ridiculous to imbibe such a cool lil’ record then never hear (literally) from Huber again but it happens all the damn time, and I feel like a whore afterward (I don’t). Keep in touch Hubro!

Links: Ryan Huber

Peter Kris

Sprawl and Sky

[CS; A Giant Fern]

In talk of guitarists, they are often broken into ‘Gods’ and ‘Heroes’. It’s very mythical in definition, but the meanings and players are always changing. Where Peter Kris falls isn’t debatable, because like the ‘Best’ he eschews expectations. Founder of Cerb fav German Army, Kris’ solo variant Sprawl and Sky is the Cuyahoga ablaze. Most appreciative is the seemingly simple set-up; much of Sprawl and Sky buzzing with the embers of a prehistoric amplifier devouring Zeus’ thunderbolts with each passing volley. Reflective compositions even have a bit of static, though there is no lack of contemplative silence as well. So is Kris a hero like Loren or a god like Hendrix? Truth is, he’s neither. Sprawl and Sky is very workmanlike. For all the solitary greats it conjures, none is more prevalent than the very human Bruce Russell. Kris’ skill breaks away from age old comparisons, a hard fought battle against rote skill to deliver something far more palpable. Though the way points are familiar, Kris is at his best wandering off the beaten path. Whether it eventually finds him in Olympus or Hades…

Links: A Giant Fern

Underwater Escape From the Black Hole / The Petrified Heart Of An Air Whale


[CS; Adhesive Sounds]

Underwater Escape from the Black Hole is quickly becoming a Cerberus fixture thanks to short sprints with equally long titled partners that can abbreviate into hip acronyms. This is because they speak to Millennials who only communicate via text. But you wouldn’t know it from the busy tone of their two entries on this split. Or maybe you would, considering letters without periods represent the sort of brevity needed to relay complex ideas of the new generation. A melodic yet hectic pace of speech and music colliding into each other like conversations with earbuds stuck firmly in canals; the noise combining with the drone to create a loud/quiet operation where words are empty but thoughts create deeply ingrained emotions. Though judging by The Petrified Heart of an Air Whale, this may be a one-sided conversation. It’s a jittery, nervous energy that crackles on the flip. Where Underwater Escape seem to speak to a generation open to modern forms of communication, Petrified Heart is far more sinister and reclusive, like a Gen X teen happy to tap out industrial morse from the sanctity of their curtain drawn bedroom. Either way, it’s a fine lashing the Baby Boomers are taking with their tired collection of Eagles and Journey records; squares that traded in love-ins for Board of Directors jobs that bilk us all out of hard earned money. So it’s no wonder the world has switched to a broken form of communication, in hopes of finding a new language to bypass the architects of today’s culture to build a better tomorrow.

Links: Adhesive Sounds

Lost Trail

How They Kindle And Flame!

[CS; Already Dead Tapes]

I once spent a dismally depressed night chain-smoking and driving the same six or so suburban blocks. My chosen soundtrack for this aimless venture was a half-volume radio tuned to an empty station. Static, with the occasional intrusion of near-by wavelengths seemed to be the best fit for that slouched drive through dark neighborhoods. The empty hissing somehow blunted my uncomfortably pointed thoughts. How I wish I had this album then. Mixing that static with a hopeful, orchestral drone and sound clips full of oblique meaning would have buoyed my spirit in the dim aquamarine light of my car stereo. Just the sense of intelligence behind shaped static and drone is a comfort; human contact by proxy, which is all I could have taken at that moment. Not that those are memories I particularly want to relive, but I’m glad Lost Trail can conjure them up; viewed several years removed it’s part of my past I wish had been better considered in the moment. The power of this kind of fragile, humming ambient sound is that it allows that window for nostalgia and, if applied properly, maybe the opportunity to reflect and learn.

Links: Lost Trail - Already Dead Tapes

Guerilla Toss

367 Equalizer

[12-inch; Feeding Tube]

367 Equalizer = just more evidence of the importance of Guerilla Toss, so as we mourn their recent passing let us remem-… Wait, are they broken up/breaking up or not? Looks like they toured through the bowels of Europe as recently as December, and there are a grip of solo joints being passed around (KTB, Size Queen/Jane La Onda, the latter of whom you’ll learn about via Cerberus if you behave), so what’s the deal? I heard things, folks; I heard things. As we thresh the details out let us hear the latest from this sought-after act – this actually came out as a tape on Infinity Cat but most of you didn’t manage to clasp that one – as they figure out who they are and, in the process, help us unearth a bit we didn’t know about ourselves. It all starts with the chemistry between the bassist and drummer; it’s so tight it cuts off the circulation to my fuckin’ brAINstem, and as my face drowns in purple I know my sins will take me to hell. But until that actually occurs (don’t worry, I’ll write) I’m content to lock my head into a jackhammer stance and bang to these two all night long. Another element separating Guerilla Toss from the other sound extremists is their versatility. You never know which quadrant of the band is going to pin down the focal points of a song, and in spreading out the responsibility they endeavor to push that much harder against the sort of conventional sounds a band makes when one dude/lady is in charge. That equanimity shines all the clearer through this transparent-pink (with blue streaks) 12-inch that plays out like a four-tiered meal (if that seems like a lot remember the French are devouring a triple LP before we eat breakfast), each course offering a different aesthetic. “Cookie,” for example, is anchored by face-slapping drums and synth ping-pongs, with nary a vocal in sight, before it breaks down into a more traditional G-Toss mind-floss, with the vocals screeching out front and a bit of an AIDS Wolf sense of disease permeating the air. As the record progresses the randomness increases, but never to an intolerable degree. Truth be told I’ve never heard a single Guerilla Toss track I didn’t like, 367 Equalizer included, and that’s why I never doubted the breakup rumors. Bands this dynamic rarely last.

Links: Feeding Tube

Einar Jullum


[CS; Jeneusse Spatiale]

It’s February today, and it’s 70 degrees outside. Those two things don’t happen at the same time real often here in Denver, but have a couple of times this year for some reason. It’s not here yet(!), but Spring is definitely coming, and since I started throwing in this tape by Montreal-ite Einar Jullum (about two dozen times since it came in the mail a week ago), the clouds have parted and the sun’s been hugging my thawing brain, once a tundra, now soft and fertile again, ready for the bloom. And each one of these songs on Overraskelsen might be a flower popping up, a sprout sprouting a pretty idea in my mind. Jullum’s last record was almost exclusively blues music. Here, presenting material recorded in Oslo back in 2012, he turns to jangly pop tunes that feel like they’re drawn in crayon, soft colors that are both bright and distinct while also slightly muted. Textures are just a shade blurry, the edges of a guitar’s strum following the curvature of the outstretched fingers of a child, smeared with its synthesizer neighbor and a splashy ride cymbal into an impressionistic mass of beautiful music, likely thanks to the sympathetic and soft ear of mixer/producer Christian Richer (The Haiduks) behind the album. I can’t understand a single thing he’s singing, but whatever it’s about I believe in it completely. Deep down in my heart, I know that Jullum’s thoughts mean no harm. He’s here to encourage me, to show me something lovely I haven’t seen before. And while I sit here nodding my head, like, “Yes, Jullum, yes, keep singing those words to me, I believe in them,” he swishes swiftly past odd time meters and misshapen phrases, fills out the arrangements with some incredible guitar soloing, vocal self-harmonies and hand claps.

I am just absolutely, positively, 100% behind this album - easily one of the best recordings of 2015 so far, it’ll be hard for anything within the bedroom-pop realm to even come close to touching it (and I do mean anything). True artistry in song.

Links: Einar Jullum - Jeneusse Spatiale

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.