Resurrection Wars

[2xCS; Los Discos Enfantasmes]

It’s good to be challenged, but it’s also nice to get what you want. Music such as that of Pengo used to challenge me, but now it’s just what I want. Fuckin’ A!! But seriously, it’s like entering the room with a hail of gunfire when you lead off your (double) tape like this, blistering the ear-holes with withering effects and HUGE chunks of arctic bass and laser-sharp synth metrics. The extra ingredient is care. Side B is more of a mellow-gold trot, led by dapper drums, watery blurts of strange noise, de-tuned guitar, and a prevailing rule: each instrument must drop in and out of the mix at random times then reappear like a stalker ex-girlfriend back from the dead. Soon we’re headed down a spiral staircase of the mind, escorted by lonely guitar figures and Doug Yule bass. This is where Resurrection Wars swallows your mind whole, never to let go. Seventy-five copies to hold and cherish; or just one, if you hurry.

Links: Los Discos Enfantasmes

Coyote Image Medicinals

Coyote Image Medicinals

[3-inch CDR; Kimberly Dawn]

Under the cloak and dagger of surprise, the wily duo of Grant and Rachel Evans deliver suspenseful spoonfuls of static drone and reverb as compositional outfit Coyote Image Medicinals. The 20-minute swelter is a good tonic for the shattered nerves, caused by keeping up with the duo’s many guises. But here, I surrender. I take the hemlock and swallow it triumphantly. But I do not die, I slip into a world both drowsy with weight and light with hope. That Grant and Rachel refuse to fall in line with their more considerable projects and nom de plumes is worth the calculated risk; that they continually succeed and supersede should warrant no more frayed and jittery prose. Let me awake from my poisoned slumber and echo this: Evans’ aren’t deceitful or tricky. They put it in our faces, pour it down our throats, and let us taste the sweet nectar disguised as suspicion. But no matter the name or title, we are all now a part of the ruse. No matter the elixir, it is pure and chaste. All hail the King and Queen, bah, The Alpha and Omega!

Links: Coyote Image Medicinals - Kimberly Dawn

Digital Natives


[CS; Avant Archive]

Jeff Astin (gentleman to some, homey to most) returns with brolific moniker Digital Natives, a strange blend of Doc Moreau pop and vaporwave machismo. Yeah, it’s a lot of Sanford and Son hogging Coppeecuffs but the kitchen sink melodies and off-kilter sing-song of appropriated samples and junkyard beats is righteous with indignation. This tape cares not for convention or tradition; it’s carving its own in the same vein as Found Footage, et. al. Tropicalia, weirdo freakouts and island pop all weave in and out of this third-world boogie of one man’s trash becoming our treasure. To hell with your bourgeois thoughts, cut loose and tear one on with Dude Extraordinaire Astin.

Links: Avant Archive

Plankton Wat

Mirror Lake EP

[One-sided 12-inch; Sound of Cobra]

If you’ve been paying attention to the onslaught of Sound of Cobra one-sided 12-inches, by the likes of Expo 70, Hell Shovel, and others, you already know how fast the damn things sell out. You also, surely, know that they’ll deliver the goods, and old hand Plankton Wat step on board with a searing platter of songs in the key of acoustic. Not quite Fahey, not quite Six Organs, not quite Mason Lindhal, not quite anything you’ve heard, really, but you get the idea. They pull back and let the strings breathe then hook you with the blow-back, slow-pickin’ their way to elite indie status only bolstered by their past output on holier-than-Yeh imprints Stunned, Digitalis, Sweat Lodge Guru, and Blackest Rainbow. A little soft-light bubble-drums go ‘pop’ and “Moonlight” suddenly seems lifted from a different album, if not dimension. “Lone Pines” then closes the bar with more of that soulful guitar. What can I say? Solid as a rock, strong as it can be.

Links: Plankton Wat - Sound of Cobra


Demokrati Eller Diktatur?

[7-inch; Beach Impediment]

As a late-1970s porn actress might have casually said, Oh fuck yeah: Desperat, on Demokrati Eller Diktatur?, play hardcore, bare-bones style, and manage to make that work in the here-and-nizzle. That’s rare as hell, and the Tom Araya vocals (in fact one might liken the Desperat sound to that of Slayer’s hardcore-saluting Undisputed Attitude) smear sonic blood all over the trebly guitars and light helpings of bass. As far as current acts go it reminds me of that one-sided White Shit record from a few years yore but without the surreal touch, along with Kyklooppien Sukupuutto 7”, a previous Cerberus treasure. It’s possible I’m merely isolated, but I don’t hear many records like this anymore, totally transcending the good-enough-to-be-a-local-staple-but-not-noteworthy-overall curse that so many hardcore/punk/etc. bands are under (for evidence search old used 7-inch bins dry-er than your grandma’s cooch; you’ll doubtlessly find several also-ran-ish, technically ‘heavy’ records with black jackets) despite the advanced age (we’re talking rock ‘n’ roll years here) of Desperat’s members. Glad this exists.

Links: Beach Impediment

Oktaf O

Oktaf O

[CS; Old Monster]

This is going to throw you for a loop. And another loop. And another. And. An. A. Oktaf O–whoever or whatever this is–is some funky, futuristic freakout. It’s pattern based, it knows no genre-specific boundaries, and it hits fast and hard. The only thread piecing these five “songs” together is the use of similar instrumentation and composition: a synthesizer (sometimes primary, often secondary) infused with infectious drum beats. What I can tell you is it’s evolution. The codified sounds are being picked out, DNA is being altered and the result is the new super-strain of synth/drone/jazz/electronic rock. It’s leaps and bounds beyond, because the only ties to the past are the devices used to create the symphonic hybrid. Oktaf O explodes myths and blueprints. No more shag piles and bad 80s hair to revisit. Whatever I must to do become part of this machine, I shall. My flesh is but a pod. My guitar but a tool. This synth merely a distraction. I will assimilate because this is where I want to go and what I want to be.

Links: Old Monster

Meryll Hardt

“I Can Die Happy” b/w “Lichtspiel”

[7-inch; Apolkalypso]

Mystery delivery! Whoever sent this two-faced gem of Germanic duality, I applaud you though I question how you received my location. I always had a suspicion the SS was watching from afar. But I’m too boozy from the post-WWII glug of “I Can Die Happy,” its winsome Gerswhin glee finding Hardt drunkenly laughing with me as she looks me dead in the eyes and artfully replies “It is written in the stars, you are full of shit.” We’ve only just met but she gets me, if I were a GI with slicked backed hair in Vichy France. B-side “Lichtspiel” is a quick transport to modern times, a trip through the Belgian wormhole. Those brassy sounds now robotic and industrious, free-willing-turned-mechanical. It tells me to keep my guard up even after the sloppy times of the A-side. I live in a fantasy land of 1950s Euro resurrection but what exists is a continent once more growing to accommodate a bulbous planet. Whoever sent this did their homework. QUIT SPYING ON ME! Or don’t, so long as you keep sending me more Meryll Hardt and her ilk. I also like frilly boxers and Swiss chocolate.

Links: Meryll Hardt - Apolkalypso


Man Woman & Beast

[CS; House of Alchemy]

In French, the phrase “de trop” is used to describe something that is done in excess. Not sure if there’s some kind of symbolic significance as to why this trio chose that for the name of a noise act that is so understated and spare, but it does have a chilly ring to it that seems to fit. Man Woman & Beast is wooshy, and windy and cold, and cavernous. It is old, and creaky, and cranky and, oddly enough, quiet through all of this. Haunted with distant spooks, screeching specters, metal filings drifting off whatever blunt objects are being so softly tortured, heels sunk into the backs of small animals who sing in wretched whistles, breathing machines running on fumes and voices struggling to express their discontent with the establishment through the echo. This tape is shedding its skin, itching and picking at it, molting organic tissue and sacrificing it to the soil and frantically hiding what lies beneath. Another solid set of shambolic improv from Adam Richards’ House of Alchemy label, the 52nd release he’s committed to tape.

Links: House of Alchemy

Bobb & The Kidds

Take Me Home Vienna

[7-inch; Mighty Mouth]

Finally, I get to combat Bobby Trimble and his nimble, quivering voice on TMT (kinda like covering that Tim Buckley record after all those years), the stuff legends and odd nightmares are made of. Those, such as I, whom already own Secretly Canadian’s Harvest of Dreams will already have these two tunes; if you haven’t wet your beak in these waters yet, this is a great way to get-with-the-goddamn-program-already. “Selling Me Short While Stringing Me Along” (you can tell it’s tight from its title alone) is such an odd take on a prom-night ballad, guitars phasing back and forth, drums quietly surging beneath the disco lights, distant arpeggios holding it all together in challenging circumstances. It’s humbling to know there was music this challenging happening in 1981, as you could easily mistake it for some weird, quasi-Amen Dunes outtake or Panoply Academy ditty. I also have always heard Supertramp in Trimble’s delivery, specifically Roger Hodgson’s gender-neutral wails; I don’t have a point to make here, just revealing something about myself. Oh yeah, and “Take Me Home Vienna”: Another apt look into Trimble’s enchanted forest of slightly off – and thus so ON – sounds. There’s a guitar solo in here that mimics a tune I can’t put my finger on. Might be a nursery rhyme or something, and there’s no one more Humpty-Dumpty fragile than Trimble. That’s my awful outro and I’m stickin’ to it.

Links: Mighty Mouth

Josh Mason

The Symbiont

[12-inch; Sunshine Ltd.]

My little leaf. It drifts down a river, its only propellant that of wind and current. A loose turn here, a sharp bend there. It lazily makes its way to a destination only it and the water know. The relationship is not contentious, but one of fruitful understand. The leaf, vibrant green, begins to dull around its edges. The river finds itself a strong provider. Together they are married in nature’s harmonious infinity. Where one ends, the other begins. Where one perishes, the other shall live. Both giving and receiving nourishment. There is no discussion of where the river goes or how the leaf arrived in the midst of its grasp. They symbolically hold hands, navigating unexpected torrents and territorial animals together. They are aware that death awaits them both; one much sooner than the other. It does not concern them. Theirs is a life lived. A record as clear as the mountain stream on which is it whisked. A guitar as fragile and lifted as the leaf on which it strums. Let us not be concerned with the beginning or the end. What we have is now. An elegant life, the music of our surroundings, and the wherewithal to let it envelope us.

Links: Josh Mason - Sunshine Ltd.

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.