Tortured Tongues, Rank/Xerox, Big Rats

Jason Jackowiak

Singles Collection covers for tortured tongues 7", rank/xerox 7" and big rats 7"

This week on TSC we've got a crop of
new-breed punk rockers, all of which operate in different strata's of
sound, yet all remain united under the banner of diy–each
of these singles were self-released by the bands themselves, so if you
like what you hear, make sure to head over/out and support them. With
that little bit out of the way, let's get on with it, shall
we?

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Our first transmission this week comes in from Harrisburg, PA's Tortured Tongues and their Art of Murder EP on Lethal Triad Records. This gaggle of droogs purport to be descendants of glam royalty,
however, given the glaring attitude problem they display throughout
this EP, it's highly unlike that they can even spell S-L-A-D-E, let
alone be related to them. Though, to their credit, there are odd bits
of glam boogie floating (albeit atop a layer of scuzz so thick it could
double as a blanket) throughout their otherwise drone-punk attack.
The snide, nearly unintelligible B-Side “Extension Cord” is reminiscent
of Clone Defects in its brazen repulsion of anything even remotely
resembling a standard song structure, while A-Side “Arizona Murder”
plays nice for the first few bars before erupting into a daylight
destroying blur of sloppy guitars, ramshackle bass squelching and
keyboards (?) that sound like battle sequence sound effects from Tron. You
can file this lot next to Pigeon Religion in the next big thing/next to
get arrested for huffing glue outside the Circle K sweepstakes. Still
available from the label for a paltry $5, go and get you some
before they's gone.

To follow that we have the first vinyl missive (after a long gone split cassette release with Grass Widow) from S.F.'s Rank/Xerox, the 3-song Basement/Furniture EP on the band's own Mondo Bongo imprint. Already
a favorite on the left coasts, this Cali trio strike a precocious
balance between nail-scraping, noisy hardcore hijinks (The A-Side) and
synth-bedecked futuro-primitive punk (“Masking/Confessions”) with just
the slightest tinge of a Zounds influence. What's perhaps most
impressive here is how Rank/Xerox accomplish so much with such a
minimal set-up, achieving such a billowing, fully-formed sound in a
trio format; the primordial thickness of their sound oozes from the
speakers like spilled molasses, while its deceptive hooks wheedle their
way into your brain and simply refuse to leave. Want to hear what the
future of punk sounds like? Then hit up Mondo Bongo tuite suite and
get on the train before it leaves the station for good.

Last but not least this week we've got the debut from Tampa's Big Rats,
a self-titled 8 song demo self-released by the band. It's good 'n'
pissed off like all the best hardcore is, and definitely exudes the
same kind of grotty-yet-feral energy that Violent Minds once mustered
so effortlessly. The straightforwardness of tracks like “Nudity” and
“Napalm”, which seethe with bile and daggers of distortion, seems
slightly out of step with all the “mysterious guy hardcore” currently
emerging from the Sunshine State, but in the end, that only serves to
make these 8 hammer blows to the skull that much deadlier by
comparison. If this sounds like your brand of violence, grip one
straight from the band themselves before they disappear like a SxE kid at his first kegger.

That's all the scum that's fit to print this week, but make sure
to re-direct your prow here next week for more beguiling sounds and
supersonic fairy tales.

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