The Singles Collection is contributor Jason Jackowiak’s weekly column focusing on rare and essential 7″ releases. We gladly accept all types of 7″ for consideration.
Ok, after a few snags and some schedule wrangling, we’re finally ready with our latest all-Sacred Bones edition of the Singles Collection. We’ve made no secret of the fact that we love this label, and true to their ever-stellar form, their latest batch of singles are all absolute must-owns, both from sonic and aesthetic points of view. Since you’ve undoubtedly heard us sing their praises in the past, let’s just get to this latest batch of killer tunes.
The first thing to blow speaker cones this week is the latest from Australia’s Naked on the Vague, “Chitty Chat” b/w “Goodbye Dark Cliche”, their first single since last year’s awesome Poltergeist Palm on Skulltones. The A-Side is a slow-creeping dirge that shatters into a billion splintered pieces, voices stumbling over one another, guitars backfiring and a clattering tribal ruckus holding the whole thing together for the duration, only to have it meltdown in its final moments. The ominous clouds roll in on the flipside, a macabre synth-war that sounds like someone shooting angels out of the sky with an AK-47 and gleefully shrieking as they plummet to the pavement. We’re not certain, but if it’s possible for something to be both utterly genius and totally horrifying at the same time, we think NOTV have captured it on tape here.
Next up we’ve got the third single (and second on SB) from Nice Face, “Mnemonic Device” b/w “Situation is Facing Utter Annihilation” and for as good as his HoZac single was, this one really takes him to the next level in terms of pure songcraft. The A-Side rides a wobbling, warbling bassline and pinprick synths into a strange pop nirvana, a splattered lo-fi realm where everybody is obsessed with Bee Thousand and constantly prays to altars constructed solely of Fall albums. Once you make the turn, “Situation is Facing Utter Annihilation” is, bar none, the best thing he’s ever put to tape. Far more aggressive than we’re used to hearing, this searing brace of manic scum-punk is as instantly addicting as heroin bubblegum and twice as sweet. That it manages, at points, to recall everybody from Marc Bolan to Jim Shepard is a testament to both its audacious versatility and shit-caked pop perfection. The single of the year may have already landed.
To end things on a decidedly Beefheartian note, we’ve got the double 7″ offering from Timmy’s Organism, the “solo” guise of Human Eye frontman Timmy Vulgar. Definitely the weirdest platter(s) that the label has released to date, Squeeze the Giant is four sides of guitarded weirdness that drips sky juice from every pore and, in some instances, sounds like several different bands jamming over the top of one another. As you run through these deep grooves you’ll hear mutated blues slop, LSD-addled skronk-rock, a barely discernible vocal harangue and, in the form of “Tree Thirsty Earthquake”, something resembling a gentle torch song, only far more obtuse and ultimately unsettling. Members of Tyvek pop their heads into Mr. Timmy’s Keyhole Wonderland briefly, and even they seem weirded out of their skulls. Heroic and awesome, just not for the faint of eardrum.
There you have it, another batch of stunners from Sacred Bones. All of these releases are still available from their website, and if you act real quick-like, you might even be able to snag one of the limited editions. Thanks for scraping the sky with us this week, and make sure to check back next week when we dissect some of the new(er) offerings on Goodbye Boozy, Regal Select and some others we can’t think of right this second.