Preening Gimmickry of the Flexi-Disc Split

Sam Lefebvre

Even in the cynical racket of punk records, a split seven-inch flexi-disc featuring two underground acts covering one another reeks of the sort of preening gimmickry usually reserved for Record Store Day.

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And yet, since Ausmuteants and Lumpy & the Dumpers appear on a new split flexi-disc less for the exclusive purpose of peddling records and more for the benefit of a new fanzineentitled No Friendsbased out of Chicago, and styled on Maximum Rocknroll save for a couple ideological facets—the marketing ploy is welcomed.

The songs help. Neither act could suppress its particular mania if it cared to try. Ausmuteants tick up the tempo until “Dump the Dumpers” destabilizes; Lumpy & the Dumpers drag Ausmuteants’ zipped-up synth-punk through the mud. There, it flourishes. On “Noxious”, Lumpy sounds typically sickly, performatively clearing his throat atop a disintegrating riff and needling keyboard before gleefully celebrating a toilet lever. On “Noxious”, he gets to the point: “Embrace all vile things!”

And all of that nasty revelry contributes to the flexi-disc’s quaint charm. A green, flimsy disc lodged among splotches of black ink, No Friends’  flexi reclaims the format’s old role as semi-disposable promotional fodder. Only, these featured artists really relish the trash.

Glossy plastic with a candy aura that delivers sour noise, consider it a proto-embed code.

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