A Journal Of The Dark Arts
There is a tendency, with technology, to overthink things, to overcomplicate, to get bogged down in details, and never finish anything.
This is entirely at odds with the immediacy of the internet, with the personal connection of someone’s bandcamp streaming directly into your bedroom, into your head, your dreams. And while this does create a movement for the weirdest, wildest sonic mutations you have ever dreamed of, it also creates an inverse momentum to toe the party line, to play by the rules, to garner attention, to get that coveted airplay.
And what was once punker than punk, like 1000 tabs of brown acid squished down into a strawbana smoothie becomes more indie pop radio filler, and the world becomes a little bit more status quo.
Thank Balthus we have bands like Hair Club, formerly of New York, but now operating out Charleston, SC.
This short ‘n sweet EP from Hair Club might be what it would sound like if Lightning Bolt were to jam with Animal Collective, or if Ron Morelli and his L.I.E.S. crew were to use echo-laden, doomy psych rock to express their urban malaise.
The Hair Club EP was recorded in two blitzkrieg improv sessions, back in 2012, and then pieces of those jams were then boiled down and refined to become these 5 songs, over the course of a year.
Things get rolling with “Subway Crash”, probably my personal favorite, which is as about as ominous and catastrophic as they come. Pounding, tribal percussion plays the role of steel wheels going off the rail, while John Russell incants from down a distant tunnel. The air is full of specter and malignant bacteria, in the form of recombinant echoes and delays.
“Idea Man Faces Certain Destruction”, my next favorite, is a bleak blast of cold air in the face, approached with a Swans-like discpline, on the bass, while layered and locked rhythms intertwine, like the skeins of destiny around the proceedings. It’s fun and terrorizing at the same time!
“Space Cadet” probably has the greatest chance for commercial breakout, and is also the clearest indicator that Hair Club didn’t need any more rehearsal time, as the mathy, progressive bassline is perfect and in sync, while the drums freak out and twin guitars shriek menace into the air! The perfect blend of electronic mayhem and musical precision. Hair Club can truly play, as well as write, and implement.
I won’t go through the play by play, as i was told by one of my editors that a track-by-track breakdown is boring. And besides, it’s short, only 5 songs, and can be streamed in its entirety, so you should just get this in yr earholes.
Seeing as how Hair Club no longer reside in NYC, this may be the last time they are able to conjure such sickly misanthropy and paranoia, so best to mark the moment, and get it while you can.
This is also being made available as a limited edition cassette from <a href="“>Kelewele Records, who seem to have a bunch of other neat stuff going on, as well, so check ’em out and lend yr support!