As of late, I’ve become overwhelmed with the urge to slice off the top of my skull, place my brain in the freezer, and reseal both vessels. A mind spinning like a top in no curated direction, it needs to be silenced before it silences itself. While my breath quickens with that rug-pull of gross panic, I move faster towards the wall as hard work proves to be high risk/meager reward.
The past week of my life have been somewhere in between the plot of a John Waters’ film and a sad 70’s sitcom. After returning home from burying my grandfather in Baltimore, I found my front door open, blinds torn apart, and a opossum anxiously perched atop my AC unit. As I went from strategically shuffling him out the door with a Swiffer stick to beating down Bourbon street to get a copy of my tax forms from my trick-ass booty club, I was only preparing for the coup de gras. After an hour of waiting on a no call/no show bus, I was left to take refuge in a mega-surged Uber driver casting confidence in Trump. He could have never have voted for a tool of the Muslim Brotherhood like Clinton. Don’t worry, though; his stanch lack of faith had nothing to do with her being a woman (although I must admit, when he qualified with that line for about that the fifth time, I began growing a bit sus).
But it’s all a part of GOD’s plan, right? After all, he did come back for the umpteenth time the next morning. I dunno, though, bro. I think it’s cheating to get to wake up the next day as a ghost, and a holy one at that. It’s a lot more miraculous to rise again in your same old tired body in the same old dirty blankets. And so, I made plans of my own, including, and limited to, all-reds jelly beans, freshly-installed blackout blinds, and the Turin shroud of Target bedsheets.
The absurdity of life is in a boxing match with overdriven neurons, yet, despite being a consenting member of neither party, you end up being the one who taps out. All creative energy drained, nothing sounds more delightful than an ice bath as the pack of each punch penetrates every layer. While the freezer’s best kept secrets generally include more of the likes of vodka and vegan lentil chili, there is a solid alternative—the great Collapse behind a screen. The bright spot in the absence of light. The best part of LED dreams is observing the artists who live inside them; those who keep making moves, and eventually inspire me to make some, too, even when I’m feeling blue.
Kavyk (US) – Futility Worship
About a month ago, Kerrang! published a state-by-state breakdown of the best metal bands in the U.S. Inevitably, the blogsphere followed up with a variety of retorts. Louisiana largely remained in a Thou v. Eyehategod deadlock. While both acts are definitive legends of Slow, Hammond, LA’s Kavyk lurks all spooky-like in the background. As a postmodern hodgepodge of what can be best described as blackened sludge, Kavyk’s Futility Worship is already out and about, dick swinging.
Opener “Everything Wilts” sells you right off the bat with what’s effectively a black metal bong rip before asserting a strategically stripped-down point of view. Along the lines of Conan or Primitive Man, the lack of atmosphere becomes an atmosphere in and of itself. Personally, it’s leaving me real fucking excited for their big city show this June. It should help the void when I’m inevitably too poor to afford Austin Terror Fest as I continually spiral into permanent Uber surge hell. That’s just one of many thrills of living in a tourist town. I do, however, non-facetiously enjoy watching the middle-aged goth couples make their yearly hajj to Queen of the Damned dreamland. That shit does my heart good, kind of lack that last quote on Kavyk’s Bandcamp:
“Please top w all this redneck black metal brand of tom foolery….really…leave it to the professionals…” – Some Neckbeard
Chrch (US) – Light Will Consume Us All
Speaking of Louisiana, Chrch’s Light Will Consume Us All channels that invisible blood that’s said to be felt in New Orleans thanks to its tattered past and present. Like plunging the blood rising through the cracks in the sidewalk, eventually you come to a hypnotic halt, later awakening to a world covered in a dystopic red. The Sacramento squad’s second full-length, dropping May 11 via Neurot, maintains the beloved cadence of doom while still moving the story along, which leaves me inclined to share a short anecdote from long ago:
So there was this wall of graffiti on the side of one the basketball courts in junior high, right? It had the ubiquitous cast of characters. The ejaculating cartoon penis. The mysterious “S” hieroglyph. But the true sacred text spanned the very bottom: FCK…the only thing that’s missing is U. Cut to 2018, and U has also been usurped from another holy word. Written into the stars, it was. Light channels that Rob Zombie-ass heathenistic 70’s vibe so without a dash of kitschy, and so, by the holy rite of slam dunks in gym class, Chrch has risen again—out of the bowels of YouTube stoner playlists, and right into my promo inbox. Get it.
Grift (SE) – Vilsna Andars Boning
Chrch does what we love, and they do it well. Then there’s Grift. It’s much harder to put your finger on what he does, but it somehow works just as well nevertheless. Out tomorrow on Nordvis Records (home of Forndom, Panopticon), EP Vilsna Andars Boning serves as another gripping example of what I’ve referred to roots, re-routed—the ultra-ancient tenants of folk translated through ultra-modern odes.
Incorporating subtle touches of soft chimes and a sensual foghorn, Vilsna shows more restraint than abrasively depressive Arvet (2017) while retaining the same level of insight into collective human ancestry. It’s an oasis to another time and place that’s been felt but never seen; a place free from the bondage of death and taxes (but maybe not opossums but it’s Gucci because they’re low key kind of cute if you can get past their rat tails). While we can never escape the fact that we are on an earth spinning in a meaningless void that’s overrun by audaciously dipshitty mammals, we keep on spinning nonetheless.
You can find Jenna on instagram.