In this biweekly column, TMT Cerberus editor Justin Spicer shares with you some killer tape-only releases he's had on repeat of late:
Peyote Cristal: Foreign Tongues [Housecraft; 2012]
The minds of Grant Evans and Adam Meyer have brought much into our world as both musicians and label curators. Their meeting as Peyote Cristal is not an unexpected one, just a journey into the mist that comes at a time when many will be unprepared.
Foreign Tongues is a scathing take on drone, reducing the genre into its most primordial. Rather than bog down Foreign Tongues in needless science-fiction, Evans and Meyer return to the tar pit of civilization. The ooze from which they crawl onto the shore is thick and sticky, slowly dripping as muscle develops for advanced transportation. “Data Slither” does just as it states, wriggling back and forth amid zeroes and ones in the binary soup of space-time creation. The melody doesn’t deviate from its path, a creature of devolution happy to wallow in the rudimentary mire.
“Lag Acid” is more aggressive as the beings of new noise begin to populate land outside of the muck. The breakdown of once necessary tissue continues and the spoken word is retroactively mutated into hollow bellows from the deepest part of the throat. The snaking movements of “Data Slither” grow as an army of newly formed species begins to emerge from the blackness of underground into a darker existence above it. Foreign Tongues is sickly and broken, an empty vessel despite new life.
Vacation Club: Vacation Club [Happenin Records; 2012]
The summer whirl of “Daydream” kicks off Vacation Club’s self-titled cassette, wrapping its breezy arms around a sweltering nation. Audiences have enjoyed the menagerie of garage and surf the Lafayette, Indiana band has been blowing across America these past few years but now it’s beginning to pay off, not only for the band but for those in need of relief from the monotony of muggy pop.
The strength of Vacation Club has been their raucous live shows, captured on tape for new ears unfamiliar with the hot rods and beach babes Vacation Club’s music invokes. The band isn’t keen with being labeled a throwback though one can’t help but hear the Mansonized version of the Beach Boys calling out from within the wavy din. The roller coaster of youthful emotions that is “Pyramid Culture,” the post Jan and Dean autumnal love of “Hold My Hand,” and the beach bum thunderstorm of “Forest Babe” anchor the band in the beginnings of traditional pop.
Yet the ragged edge-- the razor blade slicing up lines of fuzz and distortion from their landlocked garage-- infuses Vacation Club with an added jolt. Much like Richard Swift’s As Onasis I & II, there’s an anger and wont to blow up the old. Much of the cassette is happy to drown the old with more old, until it is nearly unrecognizable to the retro set. Traces will remain but what Vacation Club has crafted is new Americana; an endless summer that embraces all the bummer.