♫♪  Toupée - “Mommy is a Mummy”

Over years of basement-based shredding, Chicago punk heroes Toupée have evolved from a state of scrappy DGAF-ery into the drum-tight scuzz songsmiths you hear before your ears today. Though their new LP Leg Toucher (due July 7 on Moniker Records) offers the band’s highest-fi recordings to date, it compromises none of their typically turbulent auditory tactics: guitar lines still splinter off into atonal abandon; bass and drums still lock into bruising riff configurations; Whitney Allen’s streams of vocal (un)consciousness still transfix us at the front of each rapidly unfurling arrangement. Their songs build steam as they streak over wailed verses, chorus riffage, and one-off bridge breakdowns, accruing weight as each segment crumbles and blossoms into some new grime-soaked permutation.

Press play on the “Mommy is a Mummy” video to witness a slice of disfigured A/V terror, with Allen’s face rooted at the center. In some derelict subterranean zone, she preps herself for what must be the foulest event of the season, transforming with each flourish into a decaying zombie-core humanoid. Allen complicates our preconceptions of the punk/rock “frontwoman,” or, you know, any woman really, well past the point of no return. If beauty is only skin deep, throw on some more layers of skin. She drips blood from her ears and ocular cavities. Her black-stained teeth snarl from beneath her head wrappings. She spits out a spider. A wise man once sang, “When I see mommy, I feel like a mummy.” In Allen’s mirror universe, the mommy has become the mummy. As she rips off the thick chunks of corpse debris caked to her face, we watch her wince and/or smile. Maybe we feel ourselves renewed alongside her. Maybe we feel just fine inside our sarcophagi.

• Toupée: https://toupee.bandcamp.com
• Moniker Records: http://www.moniker-records.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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