Gert-Jan Prins

Gert-Jan Prins

[10-inch; The Spring Press]

This is brutal. Way too brutal. I forgot how sheer force can change music into noise and noise into music. Dutch master Prins destroys 10-inches of lathe vinyl in a matter of minutes, splaying electronic guts across a pretty, clear wax package of minimalism. It’s angry and immortal, ripping apart the unsuspecting with each rotation until your innards tear from your insides and seek refuge outside of the body. And if you somehow survive the assault, Prins will be waiting to do the job your body was too cowardly to act upon…

FINISH HIM!

Links: Gert-Jan Prins - The Spring Press

Blanche Blanche Blanche

Scam / Press Dumps

[7-inch; Adagio830]

Ummm, Blanche? What happened baby? I thought we had a good thing goin’. Those keys/synths were soundin’ real nice, and now you gotta go and fuck with the formula just as everyone was coming around… I must say, however, that I like what I’m hearing from this ramped-up version of Blanche Blanche Blanche with Chris Weisman on guitar and synthster Zach Phillips now manning the drums like Peyton. It’s more of a scrappy, fun-‘n’-slappy hayride down Punk Lane than anything, Sarah Smith’s vocals unchanged and aided by others in the band for the first time (at least to my knowledge). “Press Dumps” falls apart like a shattered glass rainbow then picks itself up piece by piece until the train is back on the track, barely. You get a more visceral thrill from this one, very kaleidoscopic and vibrant, with an endless arpeggiator (OK I don’t know what the fuck that is; you got me) bludgeoning the middle of the mix with a skull-hammer as Phillips gets out-of-control on the demon drums. Good for them. Next?

Links: Adagio830

Tim Feeney

Weakness

[Book + MP3; Full Spectrum]

Cerbs makes an exception of the digital front because we’re readers (or pretend to be with frou frou glasses, pocket protectors, and a stack of books which are really just shells hiding nudie magazines). So when a dude goes out of his way to write 16-pages to accompany a lengthy composition, we take notice. So allow us, subservient and faceless, to tell you a bit about Tim Feeney’s work. The music? Yours to hear right now for free because art is not chained to the physical. And that’s good because not everything should be sent as digital files over fiber optics to screens millimeters away from our faces. It’s the multi-page confessional that not only draws upon the music but lends it much needed context and soul. Feeney discusses his dedication to the craft of drumming and how, either due to fear or disinterest, he became rusty. He wanted to become rusty to see how those pocks that only the untrained ear may miss became music all their own. It is a treatise on all our worries, and though an insular bit of non-fiction–not only to the music but to all of us–it is kindred with those fears in all of us. In the end, this is 16 pages and 42 minutes of deep shit, so don’t waste it by doing chores or texting your crush while this plays in the background. Give it your undivided attention to reassure Feeney and yourself.

Links: Tim Feeney - Full Spectrum

Grand Trine

Bohemians

[7-inch; Almost Ready]

Goddamn it motherfucker, this is more like it. I don’t want you to tune your guitar, or check your ‘levels,’ or bitch to the sound dude about how the bass takes away from the vocal; what I want you to do is tear those brand-new jeans of yours a little. Grand Trine made the Cerbs cut a few years ago with a proper 12-inch on Divorce, but I’m just gonna come out and say it: This is way better. The ballad on the b-side is the perfect counterweight to the bombastic jail-cell rock on A, like powdered Jagger being snorted off a tabletop then taken for a nice cruise by a greaser cover band. The overall presentation of “I Need You Baby” is like Ramones as interpreted by Woven Bones, while the flip is quite simply a catchy-ass ballad, no more no less. Thick riffs, super-thick vinyl = good times had by all (but mostly me).

Links: Grand Trine - Almost Ready

Mad Nanna

My Two Kids

[7-inch; Soft Abuse]

Self-titled A side is loud, overpowering pop-rock from our favorite Melbourne personalities (that don’t mix it up with Fuifui Moimoi). It’s the counterclockwise version of Pavement (hello rumored Australian resident Spiral Stairs), more slop than structure but it’s still as catchy and slacker-fun as the dusty old outfit. B-side “I’m Not Coming Here” is more of the same but there’s a stronger energy, as if the cloud is lifting in the basement and there’s fun in playing again. Perhaps you’ll even feel the need to pick up the nearest guitar and strum a bit. Maybe grab that empty bucket of pickles and beat on it with less enthusiasm than NYC street performers. In the end, you’ll match the timbre of Mad Nanna but you’ll still need to harvest the soul. No one’s got more soul, more of a can-do-even-if-we-can’t attitude. It’s why I love Mad Nanna and always will until they break my heart once and for all, with one final drag and a kiss-off.

Links: Mad Nanna - Soft Abuse

David Novick

s/t

[LP; Sun Sneeze]

This is a memorable, blessed record, bolstered by not only a fresh, long-lost indie-rock sound but hand-painted covers, thick vinyl, and limited-to-100 status. Credited to David Novick of San Francisco Water Cooler, this LP is a must for anyone looking to connect the dots between Sebadoh and Elliott Smith (shit that should be millions but it’s more like thousands, innit?) in a lo-fi way that doesn’t dive too deep into the production murk (just far enough, in fact). There are even splashes of noise when circumstances beckon, and “Ashtray” is an even stronger instrumental for it. It’s overwhelming how patient these compositions are, gliding with no particular purpose, seemingly, until you take a step back and realize how much is actually going on. Novick’s got a voice naturally cast for indie greatness too, pert enough and all while also verging out of tune as only the knowing can pull off, standing out from the mix just enough to never be fully overshadowed by it. He is serious about his music and it doesn’t matter how many people are watching/listening/tweet-fucking.

Links: Sun Sneeze

Profligate

Come Follow Me

[CS / LP; More / Hot Releases]

An insistent groove builds into a clockwork dance-prog jam and I’m thinking to myself, PLEASE GOD, don’t let the vocals suck. And wouldn’t you know it, they don’t, Profligate more prone to nondescript mumble core than what I like to call Cold Caving, if they sing at all. Get that band out of your head though; if anything Come Follow Me reminds me of Robot Elephant outfits like Husband and Fostercare, acts that also infuse their robotic beats with a sense of mischief and opportunism. Any chance they get, they’ll fry your circuits and finger your girlfriend. I fuckin’ love that shit, though you might want to have a talk with Susie. As you surge along, the room gets darker, the lights lowered, the camera crew told the shut the FUCK up, and suddenly we’re in a pitch-black room with a ghost-beat. German Army, a recent favorite, factor in here when the vocals get gutted and pieced back together, and yet there’s more (a vicious side, a Tricky/Massive Attack side, an EDM side, I guess I already mentioned prog but it’s there in spades, hovering above the beats). Side B brings a lot of more atmospheric and noisy climates to the table; it’s also a lot more random, if that’s your bag. I’m good either way. Pretty diverse stuff considering it’s borne out of a simple formula that works best in its moments of numbed reflection. Don’t pass this one up.

Links: Profligate - More / Hot Releases

Elephant Micah

Globe Rush Progressions

[LP; Bluesanct]

Joe O’Connell goes synth! This is the day the folkies turn and boo, cast their aspersions at a man who has long provided a voice for the sullen and dreamy. Now its bathed in electronic heaviness, a man donning thick shades and chastising Donovan. But in his world, this is the new truth. These are the new melodies to match the new words. It’s still the same man, just a different transmission. There are still moments of distant plucks and ancient wisdom (“Marie’s Hair,” “Ever Greener”) but as every society does to the one before it, O’Connell must build on top of all that once stood for his new obelisks to be seen. But lovers of the old–those afraid of change–will wilt at the march of Globe Rush Progressions. Though a wayward collection of lost treasures and never-heard monuments, these are really the flickers of forward momentum of Elephant Micah. They went unheeded, they were left untouched until this moment and for that, we are welcome. Fame has not gone to old Joe’s head, for he still rummages in the basement (“(Timed Being)”) rather than taking drags and typing on an old Woodstock. To be sucked into the doors of perception (“Borneo Reprise”), O’Connell has not betrayed his past for a more favorable future. This is a man we’ve always known, never fearful of speaking his mind. You may scold him in black and white features but when the world goes technicolor, you will be uttering his praises. And apologizing to Sunshine Superman. But if you want the prize, you better grab your part of but 175. Going, going….

Links: Elephant Micah - Bluesanct

Future Blondes

Feather 17

[LP; Blind Prophet]

This is dance music that scrapes along and basses-up your brain rather than offering a silky-smooth progression of highs and lows, occasionally stopping to refuel and tossing out loops. Future Blondes twitch with the witch and aren’t afraid of the occasional glitch, which presents the problem of classification: Exactly where do they belong? As with Vapor Gourds, half the fun is figuring that out. FB are willing to dispense with rhythm altogether to explore a shadow-y vocal sample, stuttered for that modern effect, and their complex synth patches wouldn’t sound out of place on an eMego installation. Not getting any warmer, in other words. Plus there’s that high gloss, that treble-y snap, not to mention the drone that ramps up “Fehe’r A Tuz (Finom A Ve’red)” and launches it into your gaping ear. It’s like doing drugs with a gas mask, I imagine. Visit Coldwave Canyon, then time-travel to the future, say, 10 years ahead, and you’ll land smack in the middle. White vinyl (special 50-run of black, as well), limited copies, urgency advised.

Links: Future Blondes - Blind Prophet

Piss Test

Piss Test EP

[7-inch; JohnnyCat]

The same day I crashed the interwebs and get an email from Portland trio Piss Test, an unmarked package hits my mailbox with this 7-inch from a Portland contact that says it’s well worth my time even though you don’t like punk. Which is not entirely true, I just don’t like the teenage punks who act punk but don’t make punk. You can patch up that jacket all you want but if you’re not in the trenches (or basement) playing for the local constituency with all the bravado and none of the chops, I ain’t got the time. But for Piss Test, I have plenty of time–though they only take up 8 minutes of it. Growing up in the shadow cast from Plan-It-X, I feel like Piss Test was meant for a different time; not the dawn of punk, but the dusky 90s period before Green Day, Rancid, and Social D began eating up radio airwaves. “Babies” riffs on the popular sentiments of Fat Worm of Error’s Pregnant Babies Pregnant with Pregnant Babies (as actualized by Teen Mom 11). “Cabbin’ to the Methadone Clinic” is old, sneering drug pass-outs and clean-ups. It’s not all kisses and hugs. “Necrophilia (it’s Halal)” is too repetitive at 40 seconds but the xenophobic joke makes me smirk and I’m certain crowds in the tens are shouting “It’s Halal” ‘til their throats are raw. Piss Test is my childhood redemption, out there playing to whatever crowd in whatever disinfected town. I’m forced to step down off my soapbox. Maybe I just DON’T care for punk, though I do care for Piss Test.

Links: Piss Test - JohnnyCat
  

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.