by Elijah Jarocki
Since Alan Vega’s passing in July, the influence of legendary protopunk duo Suicide has become especially apparent. In my opinion, almost every new release seems to have a touch of Suicide–whether intentional or accidental. The three records I’ll be discussing this week all have obvious connections to Suicide, but hey, I’m not complaining.
Playing loud from the nation’s capital, Eva Moolchan is the artistic force behind the minimalist post-punk project Sneaks. Her new record “Gymnastics” features a three instruments: voice, bass, drum machine, often opting for merely two. The songs are short, the lengthiest on “Gymnastics” clocks in at a quick 2:04, but every track lasts for exactly the right length.
Sneaks is clearly an offspring of Suicide, both projects utilize one drum machine groove per track and focus on constructing a mood rather than a statement. “X.t.y.” relies on a fat bass and drum machine groove at first, then Moolchan’s lyrics slip defiantly through the rhythmic gaps. Her lyrics sound like Jonathan Richman or The B52’s, though she never allows herself the adorable dorkiness of either group. “Gymnastics” is already gaining traction, the record is scheduled for a reissue through Merge Records in the next couple weeks. Sneaks will continues to record with Merge, with a new record hopefully hitting at the top of next year. Allow yourself a quick treat, check out “Gymanstics” this week.
“Flood Network” from Katie Dey is definitely the best thing I’ve heard in a second–not to mention that it’s Radio 1190’s September CD of the month. Perhaps it’s my penchant for electronic songwriting, or my love of haywire technology, but for me “Flood Network” is a type of glitchy bliss. Katie Dey caused an internet tsunami after this year’s “Asdfasdf” release through Orchid Tapes. “Flood Network” is longer than “Asdfasdf,” and jam packed with interludes, stutters, bleeps, and bloops. This record feels like the internet, a deep listen conjures up images of hyperlinks, memes, and deep pockets of culture.
The Suicide influence is harder to place with “Flood Network” but still distinct. The rhythms Katie Dey uses are altered versions of Suicide’s classic sounds. Like Suicide, Katie Dey lets instrumental sections ride, she’s never to anxious to stick her voice where it doesn’t belong. The lead single “Fear O The Light” is the most catchy of the release, but don’t miss “Fleas,” “Only to Trip and Fall Down Again,” and “So You Pick Yourself Up.” Listen to “Flood Network,” and if you dig I would recommend peeping Spencer Radcliffe, Ricky Eat Acid, and Cloud Becomes Your Hand.
Do you want to turn your life into a irl version of Castlevania? If so, don’t sleep on the new record from Tobacco, “Sweatbox Dynasty.” Serving as the frontman for Black Moth Super Rainbow, Thomas Fec aims his synths at pop music. However, approaching Tobacco he seems more interested in paranoia and dread. His new record is absolutely reminiscent of video game soundtracks, and “Warlock Mary” sounds like the final boss battle of your disturbed experience. Tobacco definitely uses Suicide’s aptitude for spookiness, “Dimensional Hum” shares its dreadful feeling with Suicide’s “Frankie Teardrop.” If you wanna catch Tobacco, check him out at the Larimer Lounge on October 18th, or listen to Radio 1190 KVCU in the upcoming weeks.