January 1990 Tape & Record Reviews

Local Music Reviews

Fractal Method

Fractal Method (excuse me, I mean William Clarke Walker III) is a wizard of pyrotechnical sound manipulation. This reviewer is more than impressed. I’m ecstatic!! If this is any forecast of the 90s musical progression to come, let it spawn relatively from latent exclusion. Not your average New Age spacey and transcendental gobbledygook, but rather a quagmire of propulsion and outlandish pandemonium. Fractal Method excels at a dexterous dichotomy. This sort of contradiction wields enough leverage to transport you along on a seesaw of determinism. With the aid of voluntary and involuntary graphics, Fractal creates a veritable inlee of coerced and terminal vindication. Confused? Just turn on, “Toxic Lifestyle,” “Ghouls” and “Technology” and you’ll know what I’m saying. The single most outstanding pick is “Song of Amergin” for its visionary lyrics and lilting (yet haunting) instrumentals. No tape collection is to be devoid of this magnum opus.— LARS

Only A Test | SLUG Mag Issue 13 | 1990

Only a Test

When I first punched the play button on this demo and processed sounds issued forth, it was time to jettison this puppy. But later I decided that I was wrong. Dead wrong. This stuff is far superior to the thawed and refrozen syncopation of Top 40-ish pop and click, rock and roll or listless late 80s New Wave.

New Clear Thinkers have a succinct blend of an upbeat tempo and lyrical undertow which balances out this band’s effort very effectively. Most notably unusual of the three who share lead vocals is the singer-drummer Steve Gordon whose shrilling voice registers a focal and marked point. Don’t dismiss Only A Test as complacent musical fanfare. It is no. Not is it Uniform. And that goes for the love songs, too. Pick up New Clear Thinkers and lighten your load. This tape will likely appeal to most. That is unless you’ve become set in your underground ways.— LARS

Mudhoney

Everything you could ever ask from the rakish prodigies of grunge, a sporadic no-holds-barred journey with the deranged and oozing MUDudhoney. They’re sick, vile, unscrupulous and actid—in other words, endangered species. And you should unleash them in your house. Be sure to let them go for the jugular. Listen to them build velocity with a vehement blatancy so masterfully entwined in the warbling lyrics. The tumultuous guitars had me “crawlin’ outta my skin” and pushing a pungent pain threshold to a…bursting eruption! Curdled? Hell no, hemorrhaging! Vocals that grate. Instruments that carve a fetide hole in your psyche. Infectious. Love it, man. Buy or be remiss.— LARS

Wondercrash

Whatever happened to the early eighties, heavy, space bands? Just when we thought all of these bands sold out to play overproduced disco, along comes a new band, with a brand new and really cool demo to carry that sound into the 90s.

After listening to all of the tape, the songs, with their great melodies, carrying incredible amounts of power, create a very moving, euphoric feel. I would like to announce that Elvis is not dead, he lives in Dave Bagley’s larynx. Dave has taken a great step up from the Steve Fletcher experience. Jamie Shuman (ex Massacre-Box-Guy-Car-Kid) brilliantly executes a Stewart Copeland-type rhythm track along with John Bra’s simple, to-the-point, but strong bass lines. Chris Camberlango (also ex-Kid) hammering out his rhythm guitar and anarchistic leads from hell, makes the music a thundering, on the edge, and very real experience.

The quality of the recording isn’t quite a ten, but it gives the listener an insight into the great potential of an incredible new Salt Lake band, “WONDERCRASH.”— Jim Bone

Check out more SLUG Archives:
Local Review: American White Trash by Dinosaur Bones
Love in America by Bachelors