Ninety minutes worth of noise rock is enough to get a guy down. This guy. That was me listening to The Plums’ massive (and admittedly awesome) White 2xLP last year — just a lot to handle in one sitting. Two sides of a tape at 16 minutes each, though? Much more manageable. Nixon’s Mess is a new c32 release from the 10-year-running quartet, out now on the Prison Art label, who is responsible for such recent radness as Sarongs’ self-titled tape and Each Other’s brilliant Taking Trips. This has “DC” as a state of mind written all over it, with its gales of feedback and angsty, pummeling aggression, likening the sound to some of Dischord’s finer moments. Traversing an amazing amount of riffs and motifs in these relatively short blocks of improvisation, the band hammers out drunken rages, prickly moments of nervous tension, dizzying electric scrambles, periods of hypnotic drone, and lulling psych jams, everything laced with a nice (if also rough) layer of sandpapery fuzz. And in the end there, beneath the wails of electric guitar, is that a bit of sweetness? You bet your sweet ass it is.
The tape is limited to 60 copies, so get over to Prison Art and grab one while you can.