August 12, 2013

Derek Hess Has Artistic Crisis, Can’t Stop Making Heart Stencils That Look Like Kidneys
“They just fucking keep coming out wrong,” said Hess in a candid interview with himself posted on Deviantart.

June 29, 2013
Nielsen Numbers Of the Beast

Nielsen Numbers Of the Beast

May 21, 2013
Cloacal Protobureaucrat - Nepotistic Froth

(Nuclear War Now!, 2017)

This gimmicky, Gadget-esque grind group gallops with grand gusto, but garners only a morass of monotonously meandering melodies, most likely motivated by mixer Will Killingsworth’s much-documented mental and creative meltdown that’s sprawled over the past several years. This band is also notable for being the sixtieth project that Killingsworth has been involved with since 1997, and the fourteenth in the past four years to include a reference to avian genitalia in its nomenclature. The acutely arid aesthetic achieved here is additionally augmented by the overinvolvement of post-Xanax, pre-rehab David Bazan. As breathtaking as being brutishly buffeted by balloons. You could listen, but could you hear through your own embarrassment?

D MINUS (Christgau)

May 21, 2013
Invovled - Donkustadores Es Mierda

(Volcom Records, 2018)

This searing, surprising stab at synergy sallied forth by Guadalajaran stadium stalwarts Maná, Peter Gabriel, and Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks starts with the simple sixty-second scorcher “Biotec Es Godzilla” and never looks back, clocking in at just a smidgen over fourteen minutes and sixteen scintillating songs. I myself was spurred to tears by the mid-LP power electronics break “Esclavo Nuevo Mundo,” synthetically summoned by Gabriel, a Shure, and a sole set of oscillators, his scarred shrieks of suffering running rampant over this lynchpin of a track. One would be simply senile to skip the album-summarizing, reimagined “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway,” shortened to a mere one minute and six seconds of compressed, blastbeating bombast - but then, I’d be hard-pressed to collar a listener who could close their ears to this catastrophically cacophonous close.

A PLUS (Christgau)

August 23, 2012

[5:16] MS: Alice Smith-O’Crotty.
[5:17] MS: that’s just a shitty name.
[5:17] IC: Laughing so hard
[5:17] MS: it was perfectly nice until she decided to add -O’Crotty
[5:17] IC: Alice Smith: Classy.
[5:17] IC: O’Crotty: Some kind of industrial sludge marketed as margarine
[5:17] MS: James Madison-Fartvelvet
[5:18] MS: Julianne Moore-Donkwurst
[5:19] MS: Alice Smith-O’Crotty slides RIGHT IN THERE
[5:19] IC: Fucking god
[5:19] IC: Steve Fuller-Cuntopolshants
[5:19] MS: attendees of the most shit dinner party ever
[5:20] IC: It’s like And Then There Were None if written by someone with advanced syphilis
[5:20] MS: Discreet Charm of the Unevenly Named
[5:21] IC: Ten Little Indians: Special Fuckbucket Edition
[5:22] IC: Do you remember that avant-garde novel James Joyce tried to write through a glory hole?
[5:22] IC: Why yes, I loved Mincing Ballknockers: A Fartastrophe!
[5:23] MS:
Host: Oh, and which wine is this that you’ve brought?
Alice: It’s a really nice chardonnay, and…
Alice: …sorry, don’t mind my husband.

June 29, 2012

(Abysmal Cubicle, 2015)

This blackened speed-donkuscore record dips into the furthest recesses of the donkus- subgenres, hearkening back to the throbbing days of such bands as From First To Last, U2, and Pockets of Shit. You’d swear The Edge was giving you a reacharound if you’d just sample one - just ONE - track off of this sizzling slab of polyphonic wizardry. I nearly tore my own head off with delight when I heard the chorus to ‘Potatoes On My Dick,’ the album’s bacchanalian peak. I was made a believer in the first of the track’s silken verses, then brought to transcendence when the bass dropped, courtesy of donkustep pioneer Wuv (formerly of 2000s stalwarts P.O.D.). Procrastinate not, dear reader - you’ve got to have this in your ears posthaste.

A MINUS (Christgau)

May 17, 2012
Difficutl - Quetzalthefuck?

(Klonkus Latin, 2019)

This electrosamba/donkustep hybrid is the first to be realized in a series of new musical ventures by Gordon Ramsay, previously known for his skill in fine cuisine, restaurant management, reality television, and eventually - and isn’t this an eventuality we’ve all been faced with before? - hardcore pornography. His smoky tenor seems to be such a natural accompaniment to the shimmering Moog waves and subdued bassdrops that one wonders how one’s ever truly lived without it before, much like the very first time one bites into a handful of klonopin, or one’s first Robb Report subscription. Yes, this is a record of ‘firsts,’ but does its groundbreaking nature obscure greater shortcomings? Fear not, dear reader, for Ramsay elicits results from his musicians much like the results he elicits from ingredients in his kitchen - startling, yet soothing in the ensuing moments. I tell you, the greatest bliss descended upon me as I sampled the succulent sounds of the collaboration with the ever-brobdingnagian Tad Doyle, awash with wobbles and rhythms just begging to be krumped to. I implore you - do select this next time you travel to your local recording emporium, and don’t miss the thunderous ‘We Demolished This City,’ full to bursting with the musical insights of such lofty talents as Mick Jones and at least two touring members of The Cult from the mid-90s. Acquire this and transport yourself to a land where The Eighties never perished - they simply became reverberant and relocated to Sao Paolo.

A MINUS (Christgau)

May 7, 2012
Fz - Bramp

(Donkusville Electric, 2016)

Answer quickly, dear reader - when I write the words ‘razor-sharp nü-country-funk melodies with a smidgen of Ted Nugent’s southern flair,’ who comes to mind? Ah, but of course, your answer is Fz, and you’re right to think of them before all others. On Bramp, the latest outing from this Martina McBride-fronted supergroup, the sizzle is turned right up to - and past! - eleven. I derived the greatest satisfaction from both of the stomping collaborations with Huey Lewis, whose melodious dulcet voice syncs quite well with the leads thrown down by guitarist Tom DeLonge. Can one perform the boot-scooting’ boogie while still getting down? Do join me in finding out.

A MINUS (Christgau)

April 12, 2012
Foster The People - Pound In My Pennyloafers

(Epitaph Records, 2015)

DELECTABLE. Popping this EP in the player made me feel as if I was afloat on a sea of summer harmonies and incandescent flip-flops. As the lilting strains of “I’m On a Boat, Dear Friend” fade into the rollicking blues send-up of “Princeton Scholarship,” it became abundantly clear to me that this - this, dear reader, this - is the essence of modern Americana. If you’re not convinced at the same point, simply relax, unbutton your Tommy Bahama shirt, and let the punchy zydeco rhythm of “Lobster Boil” set your feet to motion. Not to be overlooked is the sizzling vocal collaboration with the inimitable David Lee Roth, backed by Edgar Winter’s breezy synthwork, on a cover of Joan Osborne’s “One Of Us.” Absolutely astronomical.

A MINUS (Christgau) 

April 12, 2012
Eric Erlandson - Letters to Frrrrt

(Donkusberg Press, 2017)

In this unauthorized followup to Eric Erlandson’s worst selling 2012 novel, the reincarnated spirit of Kurt Cobain (now, a slightly maudlin siamese cat) scrawls mock footnotes into a used copy of the original.


It’s funny, you know, if you stare at the sun long enough, you no longer see any liMERRRRRRRRRRRRRROW. ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW. Merow?

(Special audiobook edition, read by a concussed Amy the Gorilla from Congo as Erlandson and re-arranged snippets of dialogue of Puddle of Mudd arguing over the phone with Steve Albini for Cobain. A light score by Dylan Carlson petting cat Cobain (Now “Wiggle Monfluffenbear”) gently reverberates in the background. Released in Courtney Love’s vagina. You’ll have to ask Billy Corgan to get it. No, seriously, he’s done it before. Disarm, indeed.)

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