Human Trophy – Corpse Dream [BLACK VINYL IMPORT] – New LP
Another essential listen from the Drunken Sailor label (UK), electric-funeral perimeter walk around the graveyards of our thoughts, machines and countries, dark as death approaching, sometimes claustrophobic as being buried in a coffin with your heart still beating, crawling out of the packed dirt to dart through the moonlight and gravestone shadows, revving out into the two-lane blacktop, pushing through the slush at the edge of the road, flattening the pulp into black ice, guitars rising out of the fog but pulled back into the sounds of the songs, slashing the beast machine with electric licks to keep it moving, white lines blurring into fever, pounding the pavement and building up the tempo until it settles not that far from where it started while clearly exploring new territories in the shadows at the edges of anything, all of it dark as the journey of the grim reaper, searching for slivers of light but trapped in its cloak of coal. Sorry to say it that way, I know that sounds crazy, but that's really what it sounds like to me. -- winch (green noise records)
"Originally released on Celluloid Lunch (Canada), really excited to do the Euro edition. Drawing influence from the looser end of the Ork records catalogue, the sensitive side of Ohio’s proto-punk scene and the grittiest and most sluggish tangent of 70’s power pop, Itchy Self’s debut 12” is an exploration of fully formed songs treated with spontaneous delivery. The group got together in early 2020 for 3 practices and a recording session and here are the results, laid out in their raw form. This is cross-generational racket n roll music that wears its heart on its loosey goosey sleeve. ‘B what you B’ is a life affirming testament to living against the grain that calls to mind the Modern Lovers’ aggressive positivity. Title track ‘Here’s the Rub’ is a barrage of abstract lyrics and skronky shred. ‘God Bless the Ego’ is an ode to the looseness and blurry eyed lucidity of indie rock’s forbearers such as Chilton, Kilgour, Pollard and Malkmus. ‘Reprobate’ is a Stones style ballad that channels the Saints and Johnny Thunders in equal measures. ‘Playing MTV’ is an audacious end remark to the record, that rips on classic Velvets strut and testifies it’s own ridiculous merit through boastful and catty lyrics. All in all, of course, it’s only Rock n Roll. This record is 1 part follow up to the Protruders “Poison Future” 12” on Feel It records (2019) and 1 part the first chapter of a new and exciting group formed in Canada’s capital of de-proffessionalized rock music. Recorded to 1/4 inch tape by Scott Munro (Preoccupations) and mastered by Mikey Young (Total Control), this record should provide a concise opening statement to anyone with the least bit of concern about Itchy Self. You’re gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion. Sorry State Records
"Reuben Sawyer is nothing if not prolific. He’s also a man of many talents - his various projects have included the coldwave sounds of The Column, Hollow Sunshine’s blown-out psych-noise, Anytime Cowboy’s take on countrified weirdo-pop, and even ambient house courtesy of Rose. Oh, and he’s a visual artist too, of course. Pfft, who needs an attention span anyway? One thing he’s also dabbled in, however, is post-punk. Human Trophy is firmly in line with that tradition, but pulling from multiple directions at once - one minute this album rattles along like Big Black with the tempo down and the textures dialled up, the next we’re firmly in Christian Death territory. The twisting guitar lines and pummelling bass of ‘Forming Horrors’ even call to mind his blackened punk project Dry Insides, but with less velocity and a helluva lot more menace. Is ‘Corpse Dream’ a goth record? Possibly. Whether goth is a lifestyle choice for Sawyer or not, he’s certainly adept at immersing himself in sounds and making them feel like a comfortable fit. As with all his projects, it feels like another effortless facet of Reuben Sawyer - and in keeping with the rest of his output, it’sabsolutely packed with songs you’ll wanna play again and again. Penultimate track ‘The Roads’ is built on a none-more gloomy pile-up of darkly portentous rhythms and a firm sense of disquiet, but once you’re locked into its circular riffage you’ll feel an urge to keep the loop going endlessly. Then there’s the closer ‘Blood Apex’, a dual-vocal nightmare set to music which draws you back in even as it attempts to push you away. Yeah, it’s pretty great. Who knows where Sawyer’s restless muse will take him next - he’s spoken before of wanting longevity from The Column, before unveiling another ludicrous number of projects. Maybe there’ll be more from Human Trophy, maybe he’ll decide it’s high time for a sludge project or start delving into glitched-out techno. All seem possible (and likely). But if this is the only record we get under this name, at least it’s 100% solid gold." Will Fitzpatrick.