POP 1280 (Brooklyn/Sacred Bones) // HAUNTED HORSES // CLAYFACE (Oly)
Wednesday November 13th
PL & ChopSuey Present
Crypts are Steve Snere, Bryce Brown and Nick Bartoletti
The long, slow demise of rock music has endured endless death throes, but the self-titled debut album by Crypts seems to clearly seal its fate while heralding the arrival of something far more vibrant and downright dangerous. The Seattle based dark electronic trio blends thick, hazy drone and synth noise with chopped-up hip hop rhythms, forsaking guitars in favor of more unique and sinister sounds.
Vocalist Steve Snere, former frontman of chaotic punk revisionists These Arms Are Snakes, brings a snarling urgency to the songs, while programmer Bryce Brown blasts out an aural assault of horror show noise, subsonic bass and skittering rhythms. Meanwhile, visual artist Nick Bartoletti creates a total environment of light and video projections for the band’s live experience as well as its decidedly nihilistic aesthetic. It’s an all-out attack on the senses that comes across as fresh and invigorating as the early days of punk.
“I needed a change of pace, to take myself out of the guitar-based rock world,” says vocalist Steve Snere. “And the three of us wanted to experiment to find a sound that we wanted to hear.” The result is the intense, occasionally bleak, yet endlessly enthralling debut album. Comparisons range from Wolf Eyes meets Christian Death to Skinny Puppy playing Dizzee Rascal. But these touch points seem to only scratch the surface of the snarling beast within Crypts.
The album was engineered with Erik Blood (Shabazz Palaces), building upon basics recorded by Brown on Pro-Tools to which the band added live instruments. Most of the sounds were generated on home-built and modified equipment. Live, the band uses a homemade sound-reactive video device for its startling visuals. “We play everything live, there’s no loops,” Brown explains. ” It’s not a lot of button-pushing. Nick runs visuals live, while also playing synths. It’s more like a rock band in a live setting.”
Crypts opens with the fittingly titled “Completely Fucked”, awash with slithering John Carpenter soundtrack synths oozing over galloping drum machine beats and synthetic handclaps. Nearly buried beneath the din, Snere moans and wails, building to a screaming crescendo like a maniac. And, with a choked growl, the song ends just barely over 2-minutes, launching into the hip-hop beat and almost bubbly-sounding keyboards of “Daft.” Elsewhere, the trio lean into The Cure’s Pornography-era gloom-pop (“Territories”) and dark, anthemic hooks (“Bloods”). Throughout, it’s a vastly energetic, albeit downright depraved sounding album thanks to Snere’s effectively dramatic and versatile vocals and the band’s innovative collision of musical aesthetics.
Crypts was released on LP, CD and download via Sargent House on September 4, 2012.
POP 1280 (Brooklyn/Sacred Bones)
New York’s Pop. 1280 are back with their debut full-length for Sacred Bones, The Horror. This record comes almost one year after their highly-praised EP The Grid, and it finds the band exploring new territory and perversions. Chief songwriters Chris Bug and Ivan Lip are now joined by drummer Zach Ziemann (ex-Twin Stumps) and bassist/sonic manipulator Pascal Ludet. Recording for The Horror took place at the Python Patrol basement studios in Brooklyn with engineer Ben Greenberg (Z’s, Pygmy Shrews). The Horror showcases a lot more improvisation and in-studio writing, giving the album a darker, more unhinged organic feeling. This new approach let the band stretch out more, and while they haven’t lost the synth-punk skronk that has gotten them compared to Pussy Galore, D.A.F. and Cop Shoot Cop, The Horror adds longer songwriting explorations and psychedelic-scapes that reference bands like Cabaret Voltaire, Chrome, and early Sonic Youth. Thematically, The Horror finds Pop. 1280 stepping out of the cyberspace of The Grid and into the deserted beaches, highways and plains of a surreal hell. It’s the road album for the post-apocalypse.
In the year since their EP came out, Pop. 1280 have toured the East Coast and Midwest extensively with label-mates Cult of Youth, fellow pig-fuckers Pygmy Shrews, and Twin Stumps. They have been featured in Impose, Stereogum, and The Village Voice (twice) and got glowing reviews on Agit Reader, Vice, and Dusted. Additionally, Blind Prophet Records released a stunning new 7-inch in October 2010, and the band have been very active in their hometown of NYC, playing key shows throughout the fall and winter 0f 2011. 2012 though, is the year for these armageddoners. Get ready or die trying.
Haunted Horses is a Seattle based trio comprised of guitarist/vocalist Colin Dawson, drummer/vocalist Myke Pelly and bassist Troy Ayala (also of Stickers). Their sound has been described as bizarre and experimental, utilizing wall of noise techniques and thunderous drums galloping through dark tones. In September 2011, Haunted Horses was featured in the New York Times’ “Seattle, Post Grunge“, which also included the band in a mini-documentary, “20 Years of Seattle Sound“. The project currently has three releases, the most recent called Watcher, which has been described as “music that creeps under your skin, then delivers the teeth.”
$7 ADV / $8 DOS // 8PM DOORS // 21+