Love Chants

Love Chants EP

[12-inch; Quemada]

My transformation to Aussie zeitgeist is almost complete, but in case my soul had any second guesses…

Love Chants is made up of members of Mad Nanna and XxNoBBQxX. Must I repeat myself? What I shan’t repeat is this: Love Chants has little in common with either of their ancestors. This is careful guitar exploration, crafted by a trio (Anthony Guerra, Michael Zulicki, and Matt Earle) that is taking the Loren Connors graveyard isolation and putting it in a lo-fi basement as interpreted by a garage band. Whereas much of Australian garage rock is the sweaty underbelly of small city American rapture–kids carving out their own scenes separate from the blogosphere–Love Chants goes further into the kangaroo pouch by circumventing anything relevant of steady melody or musical thought. Sometimes sounding like beginners at their craft (“Small Jewels,” at least that’s what I can decipher through the chicken scratch), other times in complete control of their deconstructed pace (“Skirts of Rain”), Love Chants are now my everything; a reference point to those lonely hours plugging away in a single room until I got what was in my head just right.

Links: Quemada



[CS; Haute Magie]

Never would have guessed witch house was going to lead to this coven, Bathaus laughing all the way to the blood bank. Darkwave, here we come again, with a surreal twist that lends Arcane|||Cut an extra bit of ‘oomph’ it takes to really start garnering attention these days. I could imagine a Not Not Fun association in their future, as Bathaus bathe in that echo-chamber vibe, and cuts like “Dame” do so much with so little it’s like watching ol’ Scissorhands cut a shrubbery. Yes, a shrubbery. If Bathaus were being blacklisted and I had to ‘name names’ on pain of death I’d go with Cvlts, White Ring, recent Lucky Dragons, and maybe even labelmates Mushy. Very exciting to make this acquaintance, and too bad I missed them at SXSW. A bunch of these cassettes were released on different colors so coordinate people!

Links: Bathaus - Haute Magie


How to Fuck All Your Co-Workers in One Sitting

[LP; Captcha]

Some recordings can’t be confined to a cassette. BBJr’s How To Fuck All Your Co-Workers in One Sitting tape rolled out last year and sold out as so many random cassettes on hottt labels do, and by all rights that coulda/woulda/shoulda been it. But NOOOOOO! Captcha went and pressed 250 clear-as-day LPs for the (not-so) new year to spread the word even further into the nooks and crannies of the underground. I can hear why; How To Fuck is overflowing with extremely crude lo-fi cockiness, exuding the dirt-folk chops of Inspector 22 and the experimental know-how of a veteran noise band. It’s one of those albums you have to get to know. You can’t listen to the first few songs and assume you’ve heard what BBJr have to offer. They’re dirty enough to shock you, yet they also know their way around ye olde pan flute. Dig, brother; dig. Shit’s like that hatch from Lost so turn back now if you don’t have the time to break out the torchlight and explore. (If you turned back just now you’s a bitch.) Extra points for “Luv Song,” which whirrs and slices through the rest of the album like a helicopter propeller care of Panicsville.

Links: BBJr - Captcha

Comoros / Expo 70

Live at Germ Books

[CS; Sonic Meditations]

Definitely nothing wrong with sandwiching these two; Comoros (of whom the Fedora Corpse label also stems) and Expo 70 is one of the most appropriate pairings possible when you consider the scenic sprawl they both subscribe to. Live at Germ Books, dubbed in 2009, delivers what you’d expect if you’re in the fold. Comoros border on devilish, their droning guitar compositions never-ending. More of a prog influence than I remember between the lines on this one, and also more outright shredding. Was that for me? Expo 70 rock a drum machine, a bass player that never stops riffing, and crisper effects, such a busy recording you’d think 12 people were playing. I’m guessing this is just a guitarist and bassist, and these days, of course, that is of no import as we have the technology to loop our dreams together. Another triumph for both bands, a hearty helping of mind-bullets had by all, amen.

Links: Sonic Meditations



[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

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.