Guerilla Toss and it’s various members have been making moves for the past year or so. Singer Kassie Carlson released two very strange tapes revolving around simple, lo-fi, keyboard melodies. Simon Hanes (former bassist) released a concept tape based on the music of a short-lived era of Italian films. Now we have Arian Shafiee (guitarist and one of the only two remaining original members of G Toss) and Shawnie Brando (of Bugs and Rats and also on one of Kassie Carlson’s tapes) releasing a self-titled cassette for Arian’s solo project, KTB (short for Ketamine the Benevolence) on Feeding Tube Records, a label with a growing reputation for hosting exciting, experimental sounds.
KTB’s sound remains in the dark yet whimsically harsh world that seems to follow Guerilla Toss wherever they go. Perhaps that is what’s so mystically foreboding about the ensemble, they can have fun in the dark, poking fun at the creepy crawlies, sadistic acts, drug addiction and generally foreboding imagery. And best (worst) of all is that it’s fun to dance to. KTB is no exception. As Shawnie Brando screams bloody murder over minimalist guitar drones which form equally minimal rhythms, we enter a plain of distant warning. Wolf Eye’s monstrous soundscapes come to mind, or Throbbing Gristle’s intensely confrontational tones. It seems that we’ve hit a stream of musicians who are once again bathing in the dark waters of noise, which once took precedence in the Brooklyn underground, where bands like Liars, Gang Gang Dance and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs all found their beginnings. Artists like KTB are looking at us with a grin on their faces, a tongue in their cheek, taunting us to jump into a world submerged in masochistic chaos, forcing us to confront the plastic environment that has been built all around us.
You can stream three out of five tracks from KTB below. The self-titled cassette is available now on the Feeding Tube website.