Record and Tape Reviews May 1990
Up from the woodwork springs SLUG’s first compilation. Nay, this is no sedate pussy. And I, for one, hope there’s more compositional maleficence in the works, so upcoming projects like this will pounce our way. The production quality leaves something to be desired on a few cuts–Note: as an underground reviewer I have no previous experience or expectations placed on self-released material to be high-biased recordings–but overall, this puppy (I mean cat) rips and claws.
Doing cover songs in the first place is outright appalling in my book, unless the tune in question somehow compliments the original version. However, from satire to seriousness, you won’t be likely to object to “Why Kick a Dead Cat?” (Why, indeed?). Yeah, just try not to groove on these local hepcats!
Imagine, if you will, the Yod-Gods preening-out Madonna’s “Borderline” (vocals by Kurious Karl this time). Truceladle Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love” with a heavy-duty churning and uncurdled edge. Dino Bones tickle your funnybone by adding just the right smidgen o’ sarcasm to Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion.” A lighthearted approach to Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” makes for the uncommon in Commonplace. I’d go the “Whole Wide World” with the psycho paisley Wonder Crash instead of Wreckless Eric anyday (of boys…). A very humorous Da Neighbors get down-n-dirty with Foreigner’s “Hot Blooded” (anemic the Da Neibs ain’t). Do you have a copy of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” collecting dust in the corner? I do. Leave it be and let a profane Victims Willing show ya that it’s no B.S. when covering B.S…. Which brings me to the eerie and stormy Brainstorm. This is Lars’ tape pick number for obvious, spooky reasons. John Carpenter’s “Theme for Halloween” receives a penetrating tribute from the audacious local terrors, Brainstorm, whose foreboding anthem is more of a treat than a trick…
Just Why Kick A Dead Cat? No sense in bothering to flog a carcass, right? Let SLUG #1 comp answer that one and get a load of this litter box, kittys. It growls! –Lars
Unquestionably, Bohemia is the most submerged and explicit music to transverse my ears from this local underground’s watering hole. Enthralling collages of omnifarious musical styles leave me tongue-tied to describe their demo. Unbridled creative metal-edges, funky-bluesy progressive rock, jam-jazzy mulatto — fusing Doors-ian ‘60s and refreshing, unhyped intro-extro perspective ‘90s…. Perhaps they’re defining this decade’s sound. It’s apparent that this band has been influenced by other synergies who explore tempo and meter like Jane’s Addiction, Living Colour, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc. How can anyone notate instrumentals with the intricacies of Middle Eastern spherical ambiance and Western Civilization’s streamlined parameters? Fucking incredible. There are obviously some brilliant minds behind Bohemia’s project. How else could so much aura, talent and soul endure through each and every piece on this demo? Robust vocal octaves guide you down unsung corridors of the mind as a foray of terracotta guitars chisel riffs like never before. By God (is it you)! I have honestly listened to the alpha and omega of euphoria, and there is no finer example of that which hones in on this concept than the song “Reverie.”
The tape comes with little pertinent info in the way of a lyric sheet or even who the band members are and which part they are playing and/or singing. My guess is that this is no accident on Bohemia’s part. They did it because they believe the recording sells itself. And it does. Yet, it leaves our reviewer in miserable suspense, just waiting for further details … ha, ha, ha. Please include some next time.
And Bohemia aren’t without necessary criticism. It is easy to give this my undivided attention, but the possibility of tedium is at stake. The band haven’t opted for fillers; however, unblocked time can be a detriment down the road. My point isn’t to shackle or diminish their phenomenal variety of indigenous abilities by advising them to hack off the length. Cessation in the form of music corporate industry definitely isn’t something to aim for. That withstanding, if a song is too drawn-out, you’ll lose your listener. OK? I think that would be devastating to the allure of what makes Bohemia a band to be fully reckoned with. Shit, it’s like holding a stick of dynamite in my hand!! It goes without saying that Bohemia are going places. Nor can I stress it enough—if you’re not stocking your tape collection with locals, you’re missing out on Zion groundbreaking. And that sort of cross culturing can mean the difference between non-substance and inner-richness. –LARS
Off-kilter as hell, these guys know the accurate meaning of “chaos” and “insanity.” Premeditated mockery and primitive retarded zaniness are the themes prevalent throughout the prankish Sunshine & The Biffs Xmas album. Bedlam like this brings to mind cassette culture locals on their more deranged pieces—Ipso Facto and none other. I’ll just bet the Biffers have been soaking in some Dukes of Stratosphear, too. Still, the idea is to put across a message, and it’s never lacking in humor, sure to produce a contagious case of the giggles. The Biffs channel “Justice & Stuff,” “Platypus,” “Wing Ding King Nightmare Song” and other spaztic yammerings to get ya off yer hiney to yowl for the whole world to hear. “Dez iz da cooooolest dorks!” Yep, they are folks. If Sunshine’s not afeared pickin’ cowpoke guitar whilst abandoning their wits (never to be salvaged, bless their hearts), then you should risk appearing the fool for a spell, eh? If there’s but one thing I accomplish in this life, it’s to be reincarnated with the likes of emo-elasticity and oscillating scatter brains capable of releasing a tape of homemade sound quality, catchy & dintzy special effects, ramblings sung or spoken flat-keyed and on purpose too. What a nuisance! Can I meet the group and become permanent hang-out pals? We could hit the dumpster, or say… maybe in another life, we might circumnavigate the globe on the Cluttered Excrement tour and arrive on triumphant heels!…
No, seriously. This is a silly gem you shouldn’t bypass. Xmas album is worth the inlay sheet alone. Not to give away the goods but take a hankering at these scribble excerpts: “Stylish! A tape for people who like cheese. Can You Imagine Spending Lots Of Money On A Monster Truck? Daron’s a Greek. Super special thanks to: The person who makes the commercial where the toilets talks.” Et Cetera! Need I say more? Get out the jacks, hoola-hoop and blow bubbles with Sunshine & The Biffs. Nutty, unhinged and haywire…weeeee! –Lars
This little soon-to-be-released ditty is a great way to get caught up on what the Neo Lament cats have been up to in the past six months. Commonplace, lead by guitarist songwriter Jasper Scott Bringard, has been spending the time they haven’t been playing around town, writing, recording and self producing a two song, 7” record which should be released in early June.
Since the new band spotlight a few months back, Commonplace has added former Neo-bassist Troy Harris, and former Flowers For Charlotte’s Colin Kelly on rhythm guitar to give the band a much fuller sound. The music is smooth and precise with a definite gothic feel to it. The track “Home To All (The Chosen Ones)” is well structured with dynamic chord and time changes.
Lara Bringard’s voice, an old favorite of mine, has given their music a dynamic dimension that sets them apart from most bands that play in the vein of music Commonplace seems to be after. Definite must to pick up. –K.Kirk