There seems no other enclave that has the spirit of post-punk locked down harder than Upset The Rhythm. They span the spectrum, with artists running from dry-dock chargers like Es and Kaputt, to the rubber dub of Naked Roommate and the Aussie angles of The Green Child, Sleeper & Snake, and Vintage Crop. The latest to join the brittle batch are Scottish rhythm wonks Buffet Lunch. The band joins the more off-kilter axis of the label, cozying up to releases from Handle, Dog Chocolate, and Robert Sotelo in their regard for ditching the seriousness of some of their contemporaries. With their songs hung on a melted candle cadence, the quartet can be found sliding their guitars around the sound field, machine squeezing synths the the furthest extent of their curdled careen. They take on a masked presentation, lending a theatrical air to their dramamine-pop shudders, chewing at the expectations of angst with a cocked smile and it washes out with a sense of fun that’s occasionally lacking from the staccato merchants of late.
A howl of clarinet wanders through the speakers while the bass holds lock and low. The guitars dart in a deft, but perplexing slalom. It’s constrained chaos with a ringmaster’s evil eye gazing down on the ensuing orchestrations. I’m a sucker for post punk that feels like it might be both the smartest in the room and taking the piss out of the genre at the same time. This fulfills both baskets easily. The band knows how to wrangle a disjointed dance out of the stiffest of audiences, demanding dance, but accepting nothing less than full engagement. The band are pasting Devo domes on the cover of Contortions LPs. They’re flooding the bar jukebox with Embarrassment deep cuts interspersed with the occasional Strawberry Switchblade palette cleanser, feeling a full measure of enjoyment in the glass they grind in the wounds of purists. The record is and endless enigma, a restaurant placemat maze that refuses to be solved, but keeps the brain spinning nonetheless.
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