TMT Cerberus 14
Gimme That Ol’ Time Religion

In this ever-expanding musical world, there’s a wealth of 7-inches, cassettes, CD-Rs, and objet d’art being released that, due to their limited quantities and adventurous sonics, go unnoticed by the public at large. TMT Cerberus seeks to document the aesthetic of these home recorders and backyard labels. Email us here.

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Grand Trine
Sunglasses [12-inch]

[Divorce Records; 2010]
http://www.divorcerecords.ca
By Gumshoe

Gas Huffers unite, there’s another garage rager goin’ on at THESE GUYS’ place. Yeah! There’s sax, fuzzy-thump drums and toms, that dude from “Kick Out the Jams” — or his brother — on the mic, some nice punkin’ pie bass… and SPLAT. We’re waiting for a rippin’ jam and we get a Gerry Rafferty sax solo. Then it gets more interesting as the band coheres, the vocals cartoonish and amusing after initially appearing suspect. I’m not gonna be the guy that hypes this band to the sky. That ain’t me, especially after listening to about a dozen records that rock a little harder and last a little longer today. But Sunglasses is there for someone, their electronics — and resultant innards-rupturing deviations — biting a little bit harder than their straight-up rock tunes. Call it a battle of personalities, but I think the futuristic fella on Side B has It over the consistently predictable gunner on A. Edition of 600 might last, might not. I never let fate weigh in on stuff like this… I act on impulse. Stoner-rock blends often go down less smoothly, from my experience. The electronics help them slip right down there.

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The Savage Young Taterbug
Syrupy Evenings [CS]

[Night People; 2010]
http://www.raccoo-oo-oon.org/np
By Jspicer

A desolate roadside bar. Patrons of all collars stumbling in and out as a busted jukebox keeps the time. In strolls Charles Free, a witness to the chaos of the hardworking and the lazy alike. Dressed in the robes of the bum, Free easily fades into the crowd and gains their trust. Yet it isn’t the sad tales that Free recalls on Syrupy Evenings; it’s the tortoise speed of alcohol dulling the senses and the slow-motion pace of lips meeting beer and warped records spinning on a 50 year-old piece of equipment. Free continues to spiral deeper into past A.M. fantasies on his latest Night People cassette, mixing lost radio oddities with a haphazard chunk of clunky folk and sepia-flavored ragtime. Much like the output of Shawn Reed’s Iowa label, Free’s work under his Taterbug disguise is unexplainable balderdash that rarely misses its mark. Syrupy Evenings is the sort of twisted backporch fare that bred the people he captures in his music, only making the circle of life stronger.

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Archers By the Sea
They All Dreamt They Were Bears [3-inch CDR]

[Kimberly Dawn; 2010]
http://kimdawn.blogspot.com
By Jspicer

Despite the variety to be found in the ever-expanding world of synth, there remains a black hole of uniqueness. While many artists look to the past for inspiration, the synthesizer has yet to become the tool of the future its early incarnations once heralded. It’s a gaping void that will take more than one forward-thinking musician to fill, but the one-man juggernaut known as Archers By the Sea (formerly The Pistil Cosmos) is currently assuming the crown of Atlas, lifting the world with the ease of a giant scooping an ant. Plugging the dyke with tapes on Stunned and Cabin Floor Esoterica released this year, Archers By the Sea delivers a wave of synthetic goodness with the 20-minute They All Dreamt They Were Bears. ABTS combines the psychedelia of pulsation with meditated drones and bombastic drumming, choosing to cast aside the galactic view of Arthur C. Clarke for the warmth of Earthly tones. Rather than embrace a future wrapped up in space nostalgia, ABTS digs deep into the mud to pull up the roots of modern music. They All Dreamt They Were Bears presents the true future of synth in the 21st century, and we should not be afraid.

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Rayon Beach
Memory Teeth [12-inch]

[HoZac Records; 2010]
http://www.hozacrecords.com
By Gumshoe

Back when I was raving about The Thermals, Coachwhips, and Sailboats Are White, I had no idea what was ahead. A veritable plethora of serviceable punk bands is now the norm. You’ve got yer Black Lips, Black Time, Spider Bags, The Intelligence, Cause Co-Motion!, Ty Segall. But this is different; riffs meatier, thicker. Swell Maps, maybe? Meh, I guess, but there’s more. Let’s roll out the big guns, shall we? The Fall, Lemon Kittens, early Dischord… echo-driven post-punk madness without the mohawk, to be sure. Indian Jewelry on vox. There’s also a garage-rock number with that deep, fuzzy groove charting somewhere between 13th Floor Elevators and, to get to the bone of it, The Black Angels (whatever happened to them? Broke up? In jail? New album?). This bass player gets downs on all sorts of grooves. Lotsa “black” bands apply here, but the punk vibe is what glues it all together with a sneer. You can post-it all you want; it’s there, amid the alien synths and Liars inclinations. Soft Boys, too. Oh man, talk about your CLASSics. Side B, admittedly, drops the ball a bit after a “nails” A, but it’s nothing to get hung about.

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Queen Victoria
There Will Come Soft Rains [CS]

[Stunned; 2010]
http://stunnedrecords.blogspot.com
By Jspicer

The fallout depicted on the cover art for Queen Victoria’s There Will Come Soft Rains does much to prepare listeners to the hodgepodge to be found beneath the wreckage. The A-side’s duality only fortifies the visual. Beginning with the somber drone of “Séance,” the tape slowly morphs into the nighttime desertscape with the lonesome folk dirge, “When You Return.” The tune recalls the darkest days of Nick Cave and Grant Lee Buffalo. Side closer “Monolith” combines the cassette’s first two ideas into a dense layer of moans and drones, not far off from the earliest wails of Pocahaunted. By delving headfirst into traditional folk premises while never shying away from more modern affects of storytelling, Queen Victoria display fearlessness. There Will Come Soft Rains serves as a chilling reminder that lasting impressions and clever innovation can still be mined from the scraps of folk.

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Various Artists
Husk Records Compilation #5 [CS]

[Husk Records; 2010]
http://huskrecords.blogspot.com/
By Gumshoe

In the world of the 50-100-run tape, there seem to be endless hordes of black-metal bands in sound, image, and execution. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’; if yr gonna allocate a certain portion of your black-metal/noise budget for cassette tapes, you could do much worse than the Husk imprint. Home to Cadaver In Drag, Gnarly Sheen, Josh Lay, Glass Coffin, Tombstalker, and many more, the Kentucky label has more than enough juice to supply the East Coast with its monthly fix. Compilation #5, then, is a reminder of dominance, a middle finger held high and firm at the Man who would charge you more than $5 or $6 for a tape. And listen to these band names: Swamp Horse, Dead Mountain, Ultra Boneon, Developer; by god, they’ve done their homework. Check out the “Churchburner” excerpt for a something-fried masterpiece. Hit up any number of the bands on Side A for a drone or two, too, and for the hellhammer, grab the bull by the horns and hit up J. Lay, one of the nastiest post-everything metal merchants this side of Southern Lord. To paraphrase Jason Segel, “It’s not music, it’s more … ominous tones.” And… your point?

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The Fuckin’ Flyin’ A-Heads
”Swiss Cheese Back” b/w “Watching TV” [7-inch]

[De Stijl; 2010]
http://destijlrecs.com
By Jspicer

A foghorn blast that rattles the turntable is your first introduction to this two-song 7-inch chronicling live cuts from never-known Hawaiian group The Fuckin’ Flyin’ A-Heads. De Stijl has always kept a keen eye on the dregs of classic music culture, but within these island imports, the label has truly found a group that should have never been ignored. A-cut “Swiss Cheese Back,” is DIY punk wrapped in psychedelic couture; blistering guitar solos tossed with billowing bass lines that flow like golden hippie locks. Yet the gracious nature and tropical bliss long associated with Hawaii is blown to pieces by the powerful four-piece. Second cut, “Watching TV,” is far more hypnotic in its banal tones, choosing subtlety over brutality. The racing pulse of “Swiss Cheese Back” is still present, but the band shows off a bit of versatility without giving up the hard-hitting instrumentation that portends to have been The Fuckin’ Flyin’ A-Heads’ signature.

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Blue Sabbath Black Cheer / Dried Up Corpse
Split [10-inch]

[Gnarled Forest; 2010]
By Gumshoe

This split makes me think of the other day, playing a Current 93 record. My daughter stared into space, pointed, and asked, “What’s that?” like the kid from Sixth Sense, and I sorta lost it like the dad in Stir Of Echoes. For the rest of the day, I was walkin’ around drinkin’ orange juice with my pajama pants on and my shirt off. Which wouldn’t be weird — I’m unemployed — but I never drink this much orange juice. Anyhoo, Blue Sabbath Black Cheer are fast becoming one of my favorite reasons to rescue the long-player format, with noise and shrouded, almost nebulous anthems to spare. They’ve got the whole aesthetic down, from the artwork to the LPs themselves. This split with Dried Up Corpse is their best yet, cloaked as it is in drone and doom. Planes are taking off. Dragons are snarling. Corpses are… drying. Which brings me to another point: If you’re going to name a band in Seattle, you have to be creative yet (BxxC are a good example) old-school. Dried Up Corpse? Masterstroke. I’ve flipped this 10-inch several times trying to figure out where Blue Sabbath Black Cheer begin and DuC end, and I’m not havin’ much luck. DuC are more flood-based, I guess, and standing at the base of a waterfall while you record’ll do that to you, if you leave the mic dangling nearby long enough.

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Isle of Sodor
West Optimos [CS]

[Cylindrical Habitat Modules; 2010]
http://cylindricalhabitatmodules.blogspot.com
By Jspicer

I’m Justin and I’m a space-aholic — often speaking of space in buzz words and interchangeable quips when talking up synth creations. But clearly, those making the music set free into the cosmos eagerly embrace such symbolism. So it’s great to see a label such as Cleveland’s (whatever pollutants ended up in Erie, they’re finally paying off with the city’s tape scene) Cylindrical Habitat go for the gusto in absorbing the idea of the final frontier and transforming it into a statement, not just a state of mind. Case in point: Isle of Sodor. The 42 minutes of steamrolling mach speed that unravels the space-time continuum during West Optimos provides yet another worm hole from which musicians transport themselves and their carefully catered audiences into the worlds of Gene Roddenberry and Carl Sagan. The two sides of Isle of Sodor’s latest give us the ultimate galactic paradigm. Side A ripples with extraterrestrial blips, radar scanning the skies in search of creative life unsuccessful before the faintest hint of success ushers an end to the track. Side B slowly spirals into darker territory. Our newest find becomes the latest in a succession of imperial overlords as their death rays hover ever closer to the destruction of our planet. Only the good Doctor can save us from our sci-fi nightmare.