Posts Tagged ‘Upset Th Rhythm’

Sleeper & Snake

With Amy Hill and Al Montfort on the marquee it seems as if their duo Sleeper & Snake should pound out a post-punk tattoo that’s built off of their jangle and jitter with Terry, Dick Diver, and Primo. As with their previous album however, which slunk out into the night last year, the new sounds from S&S are more of a noir dream half remembered through the cracks in the coffin of sleep. The pace crawls as Montfort and Hill sing heat-warbled harmony. Cello saws above a soft snap of drums before a bleat of sax cuts the song into chunks that don’t quite fit into any discernible crate. Unease curdles all around “Flats Falling,” like a nagging memory that won’t resolve or one that’s been pushed to the back of the mind and won’t stay put. Its an itch that refuses to be scratched. Montfort gives a bit of context to the song here as well noting, “Flats Falling is about corrupt, deregulated development in Australian cities producing shoddy housing options. These “investments” are fueled by gentrification and displacement, and they just fall apart. Realestate.com basically, don’t forget it’s all on stolen land in the first place.”

I dunno, living over here in a country disassembled by a real estate con artist and a few hundred or so profiteers, it all sounds a little far-fetched to me, eh? The forthcoming Fresco Shed is out in September from Upset The Rhythm and LuLu.



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Nots

Memphis’ Nots slim from a quartet to a three piece for their third album, appropriately titled, 3 – the magic number this time around. Without the extra, added synth snarls of Alexandra Eastburn, the band digs into the gaunt, wiry workings of post-punk with a leaner attitude. The record is fraut and fighting for air in a field that’s already bloodied and battered. The guitars cut into the wrists with an abrasive ache, the drums hammer at the backs of the eyelids like ball peen bullets and singer/synther Natalie Hoffmann uses the single keys setup to disorient the listener with a laser load of wobbly sonics. Where once they’d build in pillowy pads behind their clipped catastrophics, now they’re pulling away any comfort that the listener might lean into to catch balance. The record is Nots at their most feral, vicious, and vital.

The band was always ripped to the razors, but this time there’s a particularly jagged edge to their sound, bolstered by the compact lineup and perhaps reflecting the collective raised hackles of a country on constant edge. Synth-punk can often jut in two different directions – towards the jocular, with a wink and a sneer or taking a darker drift towards panic-struck fever fuel, twitching through the hours with the kind of crumpled soul that’s never quite at rest. With 3 the band takes a decided turn towards the latter, gnawing their set to the marrow, sucking the air from their wounds, and locking themselves tight in a bunker of bone-dry riffs, and strychnine synths. The departure of their former bandmate may have left them reassessing their direction, but by pulling back the curtain on complexity they’ve managed to make their most affecting record yet. This is Nots without pity and I’m all in.



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Constant Mongrel – “Experts in Skin”

Melbourne’s post-punk pounders Constant Mongrel follow up their excellent LP from 2018 with a double shot single in advance of their European tour. A-side “Experts in Skin” is a brittle, blistered cut that rolls in on Plasticine guitar needles before kicking over to a full-on hive of buzzing synths, sax and rhythmic rancor. The vocal bile from Tom Ridgewell captures their usual sneering, aloof attack, cutting through consumerism without an ounce of affection. The band’s long been one of the Aussie underground’s secret weapons, wrangling up players from Terry, Woolen Kits, and Nun and this 7” slab for Upset The Rhythm keeps their reputation solid. Nab a listen to the A-side below and look for the single in June or on the road in the EU.



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