Out Here

It's Neu! and improved
Matt Castille
Vas Deferens Organization

The third cassette in the 10-tape series from local avant-noise collective Vas Deferens Organization, this is indeed the sound of men playing with their penises in public. But God love 'em, they aren't ashamed about it. Art-rock, Krautrock, trance-rock--whatever the tradition it's all noise on this end, sound effects and static meant to evoke a mood and create an atmosphere. It's the legacy of Faust and Neu! and LaBradford taken to the nth degree, where sound becomes pure noise and dreams give way to nightmares and music becomes "music" by definition alone. The sound of the sampler and the computer, human sounds (Arabic chants, exotic percussion, guitars) blend with the inhuman (beeps and squawks and squeals and distorted static) to create something bizarre, frightening, ridiculous, unreal, unlistenable.

That's not to say Castille doesn't know all this: The tape, divided into the "Acid" and "Opium" sides, proudly displays its pretensions in everything from its silver-and-black slip-on cassette condom to the noise on the tape. And though a good hunk of the cassette plays itself out like a radio tuned into five stations at once (hell, five countries at once) with the static in between, sometimes he actually achieves something quite remarkable: The Middle Eastern samples on the far more effective "Opium" side contrast extraordinarily with the noise effects (maybe they're horns sampled into a computer, maybe they're created by the computer itself), and the result is something just this side of Eno's ambient sound tracks. It's actually quite beautiful in spots, even creepier in others--no doubt Castille's intention from the get-go.

Ain't no punk
Down and Out
The Boozers
Hoot and Holler Records

A punk band with lyric sheets, no doubt just to prove they can spell "oxymoron." But the Boozers are a "punk" band that doesn't want you to miss the words just because you can't hear them, so confident are they that their musings are profound even if their music is primitive: "Cruising around in my V-8 Ford/Shopping for chicks/Gonna pick up a whore/Drive downtown and try to score." Or, "Too bad you're mad/Some day you will act like your dad." Or, "So go fucking die."

These four boys, fronted by Todd Ayers, are late '70s FM rock by way of early '80s underground, as they're proud of saying--less like punk and more like metal played loud, sloppy, incoherently, desperately. Or maybe it's '60s trash rock all over again in the lost tradition of long-defunct Texas punks like Irving's Esquires or Dallas' Exotics, evidenced by the fuzzed-out cover of "Louie, Louie" that changes gender and becomes a break-up song: "Louise, Louise, you gotta go now."

--Robert Wilonsky