Into Blindness

[CS; Haute Magie]

There’s no denying the power of Into Blindness, and furthermore, there’s no denying that it’s tough to figure out exactly what Loci are trying to… do. Which is the best part. A futuristic form of blackened drone doesn’t seem out of the question, but what about those random rhythms? What about that feeling of propulsion? The ambiance is disturbed too often, the cloak of distortion mitigated by lazers, approaching helicopters, what sounds like hell’s accordion, and that sweet TV static we all noticed for the first time via Poltergeist. My best guess would be audio collage, if that’s a ‘thing,’ abetted by a tasteful penchant for noise of the Nihilist variety and keys that slap softly like a graceful shuffling of cards by an old-time pro. It’s impossible not to smile when you think of how much gunk they’re piling onto the beats. But I still hear them. HA!

Links: Haute Magie

Southern Femisphere

Three Questions for Integrating

[CS; Standard Issue]

At one moment co-opting riot grrrl with a few more rolls off the tongue; at others embracing the in-your-house togetherness of close knit rock and roll, Southern Femisphere continue to explore the satellites of past revolutions in the modern sphere. But unlike the stoic teacher in front of the classroom, 3Q4I embarks on a field trip to collect all the fucked up artifacts of society for public display. Inspired by poems and prose, Three Questions showcases a band on the rise and maturing with each release (going so far as to provide an alternate version of “Transgander Pt. 2” from last year’s Houses that is rawer but more apropos for the mood of the band). Unlike the roots from which Southern Femisphere’s work sprang, I don’t feel reprimanded with every shout nor shoved out of the room whenever they throw elbows in tight quarters. Exploring media, emotions, and lifestyles different from mine is what keeps me enthralled with each SF release and the intensity – not mistaken as authoritative anger – keeps me engaged. This is a band growing more complicated in idea as they continue to keep it simple with poppy melodies and hook-laden harmonies. When anything of interest has already been said, what’s the harm in revisiting it and finding what fell between the cracks? 3Q4I may be rich in history but its own course has yet to be plotted. Nab the tape and pass it on to a new generation ignorant of the old.

Links: Southern Femisphere - Standard Issue

Baroke Misty Queens

Tacked Into It

[7-inch Lathe; Auris Apothecary]

One thing that’s always puzzled me about music is how it takes up time but does not exist at any one space in time. A piece can be six minutes long, but that is any six minutes you choose. Songs begin and end, but they can always begin again when you press play. Life’s not like that; even if we have memories to live over in our heads it not the same as the initial event. How accurate is memory; how much do you even remember about your day up until reading these words? How much fell through the cracks between then and now?

This is why formats of recorded music that lose fidelity are powerful. The two minutes and change that Tacked Into It takes up in lathe cut grooves crumbles every time you play it, like the trailing edges of a dream when your alarm snaps you awake. Play it back. Is that crackle part of the music or did you damage it on the first play? There is no way to be sure, no way to get that experience of the first listen back. We can only move forward on this track, trusting something essentially intangible for accurate recollection.

Links: Auris Apothecary

Cvbe Ov Falsehood


[CS; Merzbild]

I can’t even read the bandname on the cassette sleeve of this UNTITLED tape; c’mon Cvbe Ov Falsehood! No need to be bashful. But you have a reason to be mysterious, don’t you? A shady past, involving members of Night Worship and Servile Sect (the latter among Cerberus’ holy ones), hmmm? Si, mucho. And I know you watched a lot of horror movies growing up, but look on the bright side: It’s influenced your work in a positive way. Mike Patton’s movie magic, Black Horizons, Alan Bishop, solo AMT, Land of Decay, Hoor-Paar-Kraat… It’s not a simple equation at all and I’m but grasping for straws, trying to get it right for y’all. I love the way the drone portions of the action continue as other elements fade in and out. Good continuity, good lift, good hold, DOUBLE DUTCH. Limited to 130, might be sold out, but Merzbild isn’t a label to trifle with, and Cvbe Ov Falsehood is a side project that may very well become a full-time enterprise someday.

Links: Merzbild


Nunn Ones

[CS; Manic Static]

Earring’s guitar sounds like it’s constantly in flames as Nunn Ones burns its way across the nine tracks. And Jason Balla, who sings in the band, could care less that the thing he’s strumming is currently on fire. Or, it’s not that he doesn’t care exactly, he’s just so used to it scorching his blistered and blackened palms, he’s willing to let his jaw drop as far as possible for the delivery, and his words crawl their way out of that gaping maw accordingly into rolling pastures of baritone. By now you should know: This one has “the gaze.” And the gaze is not a gaze without the gaze. It’s focused, eyes shooting through the shoes and the floor and the foundation and concrete and dirt like laser beams all the way to the molten core of the Earth – That place where apathy and boredom is so… intense. And important and crucial and scorching hot. And heavy, too, weighing down on Earring’s barrage with the ballads dangling from their earlobes like barbells. Drums bang away back in their cave, and the group’s collective eyelids droop down with exhaustion on their way to a fitful sleep. But they will dream from their fourth-floor ratty Chicago apartments of stuff like red convertibles running up and down the coast. A perfect addition to the midwest’s recent crop of ‘gazers, fitting nicely into the Manic Static catalog or alongside some of Lillerne’s recent outings.

Links: Earring - Manic Static

Ana Threat

Dropout Dumpling

[2x7-inch; Totally Wired]

From the concept to the art to the delivery, Dropout Dumpling is flawless, but only if you understand the forces that have been building up to this point for decades. Ana Threat (and this could be a fake backstory, but I bought it; whatever who cares) wrote the soundtrack for a film in the late 1970s, playing all the instruments herself, and the results are compelling enough to deserve the lavish treatment. The strange, at times almost suspiciously ornate arrangements (though there’s a lot of satisfyingly murky punk guitar magik too) hearken to the sci-fi thrills of certain strains of 1950s rock/roll, with kooky organ and killer bongos! But it’s so much more than that. Considering the breadth of personality offered on each and every side, Dropout Dumpling justifies the often burdensome 2X7-inch format tenfold, and will be of particular interest to the Finders Keepers crowd (though I will never understand y’all).

Links: Totally Wired



[LP; Humming Conch]

The work of Will and Dani Long continues to stretch its willowed fingers into the next frontier, this time courtesy of Berlin-based Humming Conch. And much like the label from wince it came, Voyeur is an intimately aural affair that benefits from cusping the stereo speaker up against the ear and listening at a hushed volume. It whispers of airy waves and whistling breezes; the noise of silence. There are crests, as if playing with the proximity of the shell to the ear canal. This is a marriage of sheer perfection – an album that captures the beauty of every day, the electronic elegance of Berlin, and worldly melodies. And when I must dust the sand out of my pants after each listen, Voyeur proves an oasis in the middle of suburbia needed in times such as ours. I scavenge shells in its absence in hopes of recreating its real world symphonics. Alas, it cannot top this…

Links: Humming Conch


Tell me

[one-sided 7-inch; Kingfisher Bluez]

WHOOOOOHOOOO HOT-MOTHAFUCKIN’ DAMN, B-Lines in the HOUSE YO!!! I secretly hope every 7-inch I get in the mail starts like “Tell Me.” Don’t hold anything back bro; project that supercharged post-pogo-punk shit and don’t spare my feelings. Haven’t been this impressed by a punk platter since that unassailable Sneaky Pinks 7-inch, and this one might be even more full of life. You can’t teach the attitude implicit in these arrangements, and the production rumbles the speakers a bit without sacrificing the treble we all need to discern those spiky punk riffs. Dischord, Sophomore Lounge; Buzzcocks, Black Lips; Bad Religion 80-85, Floating Coffin; get it? You would not believe the roll we’re on at Cerbs right now… Who cares what time/year it is? Keep ‘em comin’.

Links: B-Lines - Kingfisher Bluez

Giant Claw

Tear in Static

[CS; Singapore Sling]

Writing about Giant Claw’s output in relation to video game music seems kind of lazy and reductive, so I have had to resist the temptation. But since I found out that he is actually doing music for a video game soundtrack, coupled with my experiences here on Tear in Static, that effort has become tougher than ever. Fuck it: Both sides of this tape could be a boss level on an old Mega Man game for NES. That’s just how it is, man. The trotting beats make this a pure side-scrolling adventure with plasma beams of synthesizer chords laying down the foundational conduits for those wave melodies to flutter their way past. And many of the tracks have a dark, pensive undertone to them – aggressive, confident, but aware and wary of the dangers that lie beyond the bevy of henchmen and lava pits that have yet to be traversed. I don’t remember the Giant Claw moniker coming with anyone besides ex-TMTer Keith Rankin behind the keys before, but this one has a couple of tracks that make use of additional musicians Brian Baker and James Webster. Of interest! Giant Claw released a lot of music in 2013, and this short tape has some of my favorite of the bunch on it. Which is saying a hell of a lot, by the way.

Links: Giant Claw - Singapore Sling

Cairo Gang

Tiny Rebels

[12-inch; Empty Cellar]

Tiny Rebels will slap handily in the face anything you thought you knew about this remarkable band. Cairo Gang accomplish so much, from so many angles, through the title track alone it’s astonishing. “Take Yr Time” might be even better, affecting a Byrdsian, maybe even Lovin Spoonful, sense of harmony atop a decidedly exotic backdrop replete with tambourine chug and slam-dam-a-lammin’ tom-tom runs. It’s exciting just to know music like this exists, really. Do we ever stop and think about all the little sound-miracles happening every goddamn day? A lot of bands try to change their approach from song to song in an almost always futile attempt to escape classification. I’m glad Cairo Gang avoid such trivialities, writing the best song they can, over and over, landing them lockstep with their contemporaries yet ahead overall. It’s sick how far James Mercer has fallen off the path, and then you have a group like Cairo Gang, still givin’ it all like that first Dios album before they became Dios (Malos) and put out that shitty record. Spun at 45 RPMs, too, for that showroom shine. I’ve always been an EP guy, but even if you’re not you owe yourself this one.

Links: Cairo Gang


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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.