Opening Band

[12-inch; Hockey Dad]

I reviewed a B-Lines 7-inch a few months back (on Kingfisher Bluez) and whenever I dive into an LP following the short punch of a single there’s a cautious edge to it because I’ve been burned so many times (as in, the 7-inch rules, then the full-length practically betrays the 7-inch with its shittiness). Obviously it’s easier to put one’s qualities across in the former because it’s a brief burst of yr personality rather than a long-ass slog through yr psyche (which may or may not be interesting enough to fill 10-15 trax). Don’t assume the curse affects Opening Band, however. They simply don’t give a flying flipper-fuck about your droopy hipster-dolphin blues, much in the manner Fatal Flying Guilloteens didn’t, and their ambivalence renders them more powerful than the naked eye could ever ascertain. Remember the anger and power jocks at your high school used to have? B-Lines harness that kind of energy and PLUG it into PUNK, and this time it’s not the dude with glasses and a Descendents shirt who’s getting his ass kicked! It’s like old Makers recordings (before they were on Sub Pop; true nit/grit) fronted by a singer who doesn’t realize his mic is on. Oh, it’s on buddy, it’s definitely fucking ON! I want you to hear this record, if you don’t mind.

Links: Hockey Dad

Reverend Moon

Coyote Gospels

[CS + Book; Arachnidiscs]

This here deluxe package from Reverend Moon has made me a convert. To what religion or god, who knows? There are so many to choose from and besides, they all look alike. But Reverend Moon offer something different. Not quite the Cave Singers or Nick Cave, but certainly the sound of the cavernous. Coyote Gospels is full of religious allusions from the book of Big George and Sally. Who plays the role of the soft haired Philistine victim is anyone’s guest. I’m not sure I want to stick around to find out but yet the (good?) word abides. So I eat the possum and beans, and am transformed. I have visions of Wooden Wand and fall into a fever, saved by Exaybachay. In the end I see that many talk loud but say nothing….but Reverend Moon may have more than meets the eye. Thankfully he sends me off with a hymnal and a button to wear upon my lapel as I shake the babies and kiss the girls. I am saved and now my mission is conversion. First step: political office!

Links: Arachnidiscs

Kevin Drumm


[CD-R; self released]

Boredom is the mother of invention. Once the steady trickle of novel media to consume runs out, and cigarettes, alcohol and gas in the car (and maybe some food) are taking precedent over new tapes, the time for revisiting arrives. Commentaries on old DVDs start to look very attractive, dusty books are dug out of boxes, and the cuticle shredding process of record digging begins.

Try this: listen to Primate once at a normal distance from the speaker, at a sane volume, all of that. Beautiful, no? Now play it again, but lay on your side, one ear to the ground (or the bed or the sofa) and with your back to the sound system. Now, if you are lucky enough to have something portable and capable of considerable volume, put it in your bathroom, crank the volume, and listen to Primate again from the other side of the closed bathroom door. Your penny-pinching creativity will pay off; three distinct pieces of muscle twitching, bone ringing, sonic aggravation emerge. This process is guaranteed to keep you entertained for at least two hours and piss off whomever shares your living space. It’s a win-win, really, and this is the added bonus: you get to listen to Kevin Drumm.

Links: Kevin Drumm

Demonstration Synthesis


[CS; 5CM]

Time for another Leznoff, as prized in my collection as a Barry or Tuttle in that of Herb and Dorothy Vogel’s. Each cassette is a new artistic endeavor even if the medium and technique remains true to form. It echoes in the hollowed halls of my museum; black boxes filled with priceless antiquities of a musical evolution across a once dormant format. Leznoff is deft on his synthetic canvas, this time producing a bridge between his deeper, darker work and those of his more fantastical playground of the imagination. DS6 sound like readymades, re-purposed ideas that aren’t fully formed but are not to be left to collect dust. It may not be the darling of dealer but it is a warm embrace and unforgettable piece of the canon any emotional collector will treasure. I am no different. I am able to prune down my belongings well before they swallow me but Leznoff’s work is going nowhere. In it I see a reflection of space and time far greater than the tired irony of future vs. past. This is truly an artform Leznoff is setting off, to be memorialized among the Whitmans and Lehns.

Links: 5CM

Andrew Weathers & Seth Chrisman


[CS; Full Spectrum]

BING! Attention shoppers, if you rush to the end of aisle 8 you will be treated to a special surprise for adults only. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind deal, supplied by our friends Andrew Weathers and Seth Chrisman. Here you will be given a new soundtrack by which to live out the rest of your days, away from the muzak and the recycled pop hits of yore. This is a carefully constructed, well thought out list of what music needs to be engaging, though it’s unlikely you will need your dancing shoes again. Okay, maybe you can take a quick break for some Miley but soon you won’t miss her, just as you no longer miss gluten. Our store will accommodate all your emerging needs, like that of sensitive taste and odd combinations such as harmonica and synthesizer (it’s as tasty as peanut butter and sriracha). Your palate is welcome. Now, if you’ll excuse us, there are more customers to service with this Louella branded goodness.

Links: Andrew Weathers & Seth Chrisman - Full Spectrum

Blood Bright Star

The Silver Head

[12-inch; King of the Monsters]

Blood Bright Star’s The Silver Head isn’t the sort of fare you’re used to hearing about in this column, but I hope you’ll keep reading because I feel it’s a worthy diversion for both Cerberus and the mighty King of the Monsters label. I also thought of that Lycia record on Handmade Birds and the way it stands out from its labelmates so completely it almost lends new life to the contents therein. But enough of the ‘set-up’; exactly what are we talkin’ about here? Shit; I wish I knew! It’s like the singer(s) from German Army started a minimalist post-shoegaze act with members of… Astral, or maybe Continental, that old post-rock band from California. If that doesn’t work for you, I’m not sure what I can offer because Blood Bright Star’s take on rock is as oblique and smoky as the gray/clear vinyl The Silver is pressed on. There’s a definite appeal to repetition and and way it can program your brain if the segment being duplicated is tasty enough, and more than anything I’m guessing fan’s of Dylan Carlson’s Earth will get a dose of silver and ask for MORE, bloody MOOOOORE. The excitement of this record is that no matter where you’re at on the spectrum — rock, metal, punk, etc. — you’ll likely find something you dig, particularly if you harbor a soft spot for long, meandering instrumentals (though vox do crop up often) that build up with the patience and knowing of a hibernating Buddha. Another score for KoTM and you, pal o’ mine.

Links: Blood Bright Star - King of the Monsters

The Pen Test


[7-inch; Moniker]

Damn, woke up late. No time to change, pajamas will have to suffice. If I run I can make the exam. It’s brisk out. Better open up Biology and do one last quick cram. Avoid the traffic, don’t give the hot co-ed a second look. Okay, maybe a second look. I wish every textbook had a cover as entrancing as Biology. So simple, so pretty. Maybe it’s why it was framed above my desk rather than opened. But I’m glad this rush has finally made me break it open. It’s an exquisite design of human body and motor skills. The electronic pulses match my heart rate as I race to class. The whirring synth mimics the hum of engines at the intersections. It’s as if this is conforming to my every action. Alright, made it to the door with a few minutes to spare. Forgot my pencil but I see this is a Pen Test, so I’m always prepared. The answers are filling in by themselves. I got this. Biology isn’t just course of study, it’s a way of life. Turns out I never left bed. My mind, not my feet, was racing. Through this, I can master all. I am evolved and Biology is no textbook but a life-giving obelisk that I bow to every morning.

Links: Moniker

Tashi Dorji & Frank Meadows

Number Six is Sacred

[CS; Cabin Floor Esoterica]

I began unwrapping my beautifully diagrammed cardboard package. Inside lay a singular cassette tape, information concerning its contents, and a rusty screw. Having no idea how to play this mysterious artifact but noticing the slight grooves in two eye holes, I inserted the screw and began cranking the tape. It was 45 minutes before I realized that I myself was making a racket, not the tape. So I default to my inexpensively made South Korean tape player and gave it the ol’ fashioned try. To my amazement, the sounds I was making earlier were now being transmitted forth from Dorji’s sporadic guitar din, only mellowed by Meadow’s jazzy bass. (I hesitate to say jazzy because a stand up bass providing rhythm to dissonant guitar can do more and I know this, but what else to call something that grooves so well and can handle improvisational fits?). Dorji’s best when he finds some plucky rhythm of his own, re-imagining the guitar as some foreign form of percussion instrument; Meadows is equally adapt at turning his rhythmic bass into a lead instrument, paving the way toward a new sound idea. Both compliment each other well, transitioning into the necessary role to create artistic bawls. Dorji is a rising star and Number Six is Sacred is further proof of his gift, but please take Frank Meadows with as you ascend to the Olympus. The screw has since been used to affix the walkman permanently shut.

Links: Cabin Floor Esoterica

German Army

Jivaro Witnesses

[LP; Burka for Everybody]

As Ben Stiller once said: Here we go again; again… German Army invades my record room and it’s NOT OK. Never. So what is Jivaro Witnesses all about? Well, I’m not completely sure, but there are a lot of sexual references being bandied about. With song titles like “Harem Diseases,” “Bondage,” and “Sexual Cycle of Human Norms,” I guess that was obvious, but you’d be surprised at how adept this duo is at taking carnal thoughts and making music out of them. Just keep in mind that GA are having seedier sex than you or I are probably having. “Sexual Cycle of Human Forms” is like foreplay, a deep, foreboding voice whispering sweet nothings into your ear while synths swirl and sway. “Bondage” contains a click track that to the right pair of ears can sound like a whip hitting a submissive’s skin, and that deep voice is still there, soothing yet representing unmitigated evil. These two cuts are shorter and less involved; they’re enough to get you a little heated up, but if you want the full effect start venturing into “Six Leg Counterpart,” which contains all the comfort-food elements we’ve come to expect from German Army here at Cerberus, and “Household,” a quirky offering that blends more of those pitched-down vocals with icy, mechanical beats and coldwave keyboards. “Survey of Uses” is by far the sickest grope on file, featuring operatic female singers and a corroded conscience. Averaging about a half-dozen releases a year, German Army keep advancing, and conquering, and there’s nothing the Allies can do about it, thank Christ.

Links: Burka for Everybody

Public Housing

Public Housing

[LP; Torn Light]

The Jo(h)n’s of Wasteland Jazz Unit “pick up guitars” but don’t leave behind the wasted lands of yore. Public Housing, the duo of Lorenz and Rich, deliver 34 minutes of disgusting skronk wherein you wonder how proficient they are with their instruments. But the press release name checks Dead C, and Bruce Russell never practices either and we’re all groupies on his knob, no? So what separates Cincinnati from Dunedin aside from many miles of crust and sea? This won’t go so far as the anti-music of those NZL boy toys but damned if this won’t destroy ol’ Mts. Airy and Healthy. Maybe it’ll hit US 27 and scare Oxford into repopulating WOXY with its old spirit via young punks? Let it get drunk with all the Miami kids and stumble up to Germantown and piss on Old Man Pollard’s yard. Kim Deal will let it crash on the couch. These noisy rebels, from a time and place wholly disconnected from its palatial U.S. Midwestern/NZL East Coast identity crisis. If they’re too careful, they may just end up in the same dire straits as their name implies, and THEN what would they truly sound like?

Links: Torn Light


  • Recent
  • Popular

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.