Mouth Mouth, the latest full-length transmission from New Zealand's Yeongrak, is infernal to the teeth. Swathed in contorted melodies, skeletal percussion, and incinerating distortion, the cryptic producer's latest interrogates the limits of what is sonically tolerable, shunting effect upon effects to create its hellish soundscape. Throughout much of the record, from the dully thumping opener, "ape rottin'" to the punishingly impenetrable closer, "shouldnt have a light fixture there anywy," Yeongrak shrouds the growls, burbles, and the palpitating beats in a thick saliva of filtration and mutilation. And like saliva, this distortion corrodes the structures, instruments, and voices trapped within its inexorable viscosity. Occasionally, Yeongrak swallows this strangulating spit, allowing the distortion to dissipate. At its most lucid, on cuts like "firstname.lastname@example.org" and "bandagey eggroll," a fractal, gurgling landscape irrupted by shards of shrieks, squelches, and synth stabs comes into focus. As infuriating as it is irresistable, Mouth Mouth has gnawed its way into becoming one of the most bizarre and rewarding releases of 2017.
The Funs are loud. The Funs write heavy music soaked in distortion, punctuated by thrashing drum palipitations, and laced with incantatory vocals. The Funs are finally bringing their uncompromisingly chaotic live show to Brooklyn’s Alphaville on March 10. Before this rare chance to catch the elusive group outside of their Midwestern hideaway in rural Illinois, AdHoc chatted with The Funs' Jessee Rose Crane and Philip Lesicko about their isolated headquarters, their upcoming endeavors, and their prognosis of today's uncertain DIY landscape.
The first line off of your upcoming EP, Is A Cult, is a directive to “go save yourself.” Is this addressed to anyone particular?
Jessee Rose Crane: It is and it isn’t. It means you can’t take care of anyone unless you take care of yourself first. It’s about getting out of your own head and seeking what you need.
AdHoc: You have described your current living situation as an “artist’s sanctuary” in rural Illinois. How does the setting affect how you make music, especially having been in an urban setting like Chicago before? Is this a place where you can go save yourself?
J: Rose Raft is what we call our home in New Douglas, IL. We’ve spent years rehabbing this big orange brick house built in 1872. It’s beautiful. It’s in a little village four hours south of Chicago. You get off the highway and drive into the corn and turn right and then you find this place that shouldn’t be there. We’re surrounded by farmers. It’s funny but I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. This feels right. We dug this place out and I mean we dug it out. It was abandoned and hoarded and we saved it with a manic determination. Bands and artists come here off tour or to record and it gives them a break.
It sounds good in this house. To be able to walk downstairs and play music and record still feels surreal. It’s a big change from living in Chicago for sure. I don’t miss practice spaces at all. There’s a sensitivity in making that comes from your environment. When I make something, I want to be wholly present. Eat, sleep and breathe the work. That is what I can do in this old farm house. This is what I can share with others.
Chief Strategist of the Trump administration Stephen Bannon recently urged the New York Times to quote his declaration that the "media" is an "opposition party." Both he and President Trump have repeatedly characterized non-Breitbart or Trump-sanctioned outlets as sources of deceit and "fake news," and Bannon has even gone so far as to instruct the media to "keep its mouth shut" and listen to Donald Trump's "big voice." We at AdHoc recognize these announcements as grotesque attempts to erode the free press, a stronghold of American democracy.
Naturally, we decided to make a hat. We've reclaimed and stylishly embroidered "Opposition Party" on a small run of black strapbacks, which we're making available via preorder until February 20th. Stand in solidarity with the free press—or, if it tickles your fancy, with the idea of partying as a form of opposition in itself— by sporting a kickass cap. For every order, we'll go ahead and donate $5 to the ACLU. In the spirit of unity, "Opposition Party" hats come in one size only.
"Endless Night," the newest single from Philadelphia-based psych outfit Shadow Band's upcoming record, Wilderness of Love, seems to blossom out of the fertile annals of a folk era long since buried. Almost immediately, moist harmonies, laced by tambourine and guitar jangles, emanate from the song's verdant core. But Shadow Band doesn't sound like staid or stodgy 60's formalists: "Endless Night" feels mossily organic, finally finished germanating. The fuzzily chromatic video testifies to a certain newness that the band maintains despite its revivalism, as vivid flowers inject, like the band themselves, a floral vigor into an old sound. On "Endless Night," Shadow band brush off the cobwebs of an antiquated style but retain, elegantly, their gossamer shimmer.
Dominic Angelella has worn many costumes: co-songwriter in Philadelphia rock outfit Lithuania, session musician for rap juggernaut Kendrick Lamar, and even producer for iconoclast Lil B. On Goodnight, Doggies., his debut album under his own name, Dominic looks to have finally settled down in plain clothes. From the lilting bass and drum pulses of "Basilisk" to the classically charming balladry of "Birthday Song," Dominic effortlessly situates himself in a singer-songwriter tradition of spare instrumentation, pop sensibility, and smiling earnestness. That isn't to say that Goodnight, Doggies. rings insubstantial or flits by forgettably—Dominic wrestles with loneliness on closer "Anxiety Coma" and goads "venture capitalists in a safety net" on fuzzy highlight "Emotional Business" ("do you despise yourself? he taunts). But he always spit-shines the record's underlying turbulences and traumas with a defiant smile. Despite the brevity of Goodbye, Doggies., Dominic sounds unhurried, at ease. He appears to fit comfortably in this newest, most genuine outift. And it looks great on him, too.