Monthly Archives: May 2015

New Track: Taiwan Housing Project, Maintenance of An Application

Taiwan Housing Project, Maintenance of An Application (M’Ladys Records)

In a post-Memorial Day world, where ears often tune to vacuous pop paeans to partying, dancing, being hot for some girl, guy, Barbie robot, zombie sex god …there’s this sweet bit of dissonant, raucous, noisy relief from Philly’s Taiwan Housing Project.  A feel good hit for a different summer.

This is a gloriously disorienting, careening, mess of a song.  Peals of feedback screech, dive, swoop and swirl like so many banshees around the shouted vocals of Kilynn Lunsford, held together (just) by a steady, ominous rhythm – the aural equivalent of the psycho dude with the flesh mask and the power tool whose lurching, relentless pursuit is undeterred by gunshot, stabbing and/or burning.  Sweet dreams!

“Maintenance” is taken from a new EP, which gets a physical release July 28, courtesy the awesome (or, should i say, esteemed) M’lady’s Records out of Portland, OR – you can preorder a digital copy now on the label’s Bandcamp page (while you’re there, you can listen to another great, Sonic Youth-y track, “White Frosted”).

Go like the band on Facebook, and check out their other releases on Bandcamp.

Album Review: Cathode Ray Eyes, Eyes In the Melancholy Palm

Cathode Ray Eyes, Eyes In the Melancholy Palm (Cardinal Fuzz (UK); Captcha Records (US))

Dread.  The itchy, claustrophobic feeling of something terrible imminent; close; around the next corner.  It can be as universal as the looming spectre of time or as specific as a stalker.

Dread hangs heavy over Eyes In the Melancholy Palm by Cathode Ray Eyes, the one-man side project of Ryan Delgaudio from The Cult of Dom Keller (a Nottingham-based band I was not familiar with but, having listened to this album, am anxious to listen to).  Within, we have tales of grim reapers, dead whores, “drowning rats”, worlds on fire and places with “no beginning, middle or end”. Much like the dread in stories like Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, it is palpable but never quite comes into full focus – a slow-burn stressor, without resolution.  Is the evil real, or are we witness to the waking, post-traumatic nightmares of the protagonist?

Despite the Celtic Frost-summoning title, Eyes In the Melancholy Palm is psych rock par excellance.  Heavily distorted vocals leer from behind a gauzy curtain of drone-laden, looped guitars; narcotic splinters of gothic, ambient waves underneath:  Joy Division scoring 28 Days Later.  Expected reference points like Brian Jonestown Massacre and the darker side of Thirteenth Floor Elevators share time with The Cramps, Clinic, Spacemen 3, The Cure (I kept hearing shades of songs like “The Snakepit” and “Like Cocaktoos”), even Fad Gadget’s death disco.

While heavy (both metaphorically and literally), there are moments of bliss throughout – the resolution around the 2:40 mark of “Goodbye to Wonder”, the surf-reverb on “Drowning Rats” – finding another (friendly?) human face amidst the ruins.  It is also a rare record that actually get better, more fulfilling, as it slides along – the second half trilogy of “Goodbye To Wonder”, “1,000 Suns” and Wire-laden closer “Where There Is No Beginning, Middle or End” the most affecting on the record.  “Get me out of here/before I lose control” a most fitting lyrical coda to this collection.

Eyes In the Melancholy Palm is out June 1 on Cardinal Fuzz (UK) and Captcha Records (US).  Check out the band on their (his) Facebook page.  [Update:  the good folks at Cardinal Fuzz tell me the album is available starting tomorrow (May 20).]

Highlights include:  “1,000 Suns”, “Goodbye to Wonder”, “I Woke Up This Morning and the World Was on Fire”, “The Unsuccessful Resurrection of James Dean”.

New Track: Dot Dash, Rainclouds

Dot Dash, “Rainclouds” (The Beautiful Music)


This D.C.-based quartet has been releasing records since 2011 – though, in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit to having missed the boat on these guys up ’til now.

The lineup is packed full of D.C. scene muscle, featuring vets of acts such as Minor Threat, Government Issue, Youth Brigade, Swervedriver and Julie Ocean. “Rainclouds”, taken from new album Earthquakes and Tidal Waves – out now on The Beautiful Music – arrived in our inbox from the band themselves (THANKS!).

The song cleaves a channel between the punkier side of power-pop and the woozy, post-punk take on pop of mid-period Wire (the band’s name is taken from the title of a Wire song, though not one from that period).  Lead singer Terry Banks sounds…go with me…a bit like a two-faced Janus – one side Colin Newman; the other, Robyn Hitchcock – fronting first album Cheap Trick, The Records or Hoodoo Gurus, throwing kiss-offs to a friend ‘neath a perpetual dark cloud: “summer breezes dancing through the trees/and you can put, the blame on me/your concrete shoes are giving you the blues/I’m footloose and fancy free”.  Throw in some sweet falsetto and you’ve got the makings of a breezy, yet muscular track.  Can’t wait to listen to more from the band.

Check the band out on Facebook and/or Twitter.  Earthquakes and Tidal Waves is available on iTunes or via the band’s Bandcamp page.