Drunkdriver, Failures, Condominium

Jason Jackowiak

We're going gutter trolling this week on The Singles Collection, bringing you a collection of murky, misanthropic platters that all operate under the general guise of “hardcore,” but that all remain uniquely bleak beasts in their own right. But enough empty plaudits and grim posturing, let's get to this mess, shall we?

Our opening kick to the sternum this week is from Brooklyn death-eaters Drunkdriver and their “Fire Sale” b/w “It Never Happened” single on the always commendable Fashionable Idiots. An intrinsically vile slab, these two songs see the band barreling to the depths of the alleys of hopelessness and depression, fusing their love of Whitehouse and utter hatred of humanity into two songs that ooze pestilence and pessimism from every ugly pore. Clearly fond of abjection, “Fire Sale” has been a staple of their live shows and is perhaps, the band at the peak of their powers, suturing together a blistering assault that's as indebted to Pynchon as it is to PiL and sewer-bound gurgling electronics. Their dense approach to hardcore is almost industrial in nature, and B-Side “It Never Happened” is a prime example of that, with its maelstrom of scaly guitars and nailspike drumming. Pick up this up from the label directly or yr favorite distro of note.

To follow that we're cracking yr ribs with Failures' Self-Titled 7″ EP on Painkiller Records, the follow-up to their full-length bow from last year. Featuring a host of hardcore heavyweights, most notably Mark McCoy and Will Killingsworth, the band trades in a putrid brand of claustrophobic rage doled out in 45 second blasts of impudent fury adorned with whiplash rhythms and McCoy's glass-cutting death rattle. The four songs here sound altogether darker than those of their full-length, spitting, kicking and biting with a venomous bile that scorching the razor-wire guitars and furious pummeling like an acid bath, leaving the whole thing melting and dissolute by the very end. Available from the label and a host of other smut peddlers.

Our final kick to the jaw this week comes in the form of corrosive Twin Cities outfit Condominium and their “Barricade” b/w “Big Plans” plate on Fashionable Idiots. Their third single after two self-released affairs, this scaly two-songer slithers down the scaly path blazed by fellow Twin Cities neighbors Amphetamine Reptile Records, but also kicks against the pricks mightily with some SY-styled detuned feedback bludgeoning on the B-Side. But it's “Barricade” that's the real star here, a tightly-wound two-step hardcore tune dressed up in Jesus Lizard kicks, it wriggles and writhes through its breakdowns only to detonate into a hissing pile of smoke, bodies and carnal wreckage. Pick this up from the label itself, or mosey on down to your local record hole and dig it out.

That's it for us this week, a clutch of tunes to make you want for nothing more than earplugs and a nice, scalding hot shower to wash away the stench. Keep 'em peeled next week for more weirdness as we venture to some uncharted lands in search of more stupefying sonics.

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