By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
In a place as sprawling and swampy as South Florida, there never seems to be any shortage of strange tuneage. It's as if the landscape demands a soundtrack of equally extreme weirdness. And this week, Diet Cokeheads, White Execution, and Bone Owl have been the musical accompaniment to our SoFla lives. Get these releases at Sweat Records or through your favorite Internet purveyor of musical goods.
Diet Cokeheads: Nasal EP (Drugged Conscience). Gainesville's Diet Cokeheads are one-third of Florida's holy triumvirate of new, damaged rock 'n' roll. (Lake Worth's Cop City/Chill Pillars and Tampa's Neon Blud are the others.) And these days, the band is oozin' some bruisin' with a sonic potpourri that borrows from all the meatier postpunk variants.
"Oedipussy Complex" starts with some palate-cleansing noise and quickly turns into chug-a-lug grunge. Throw in some stop-start blasts and female shouts that appear out of nowhere, and you have what appears to be a punk-rock song in its death throes. The B-side, "High Country," is built on a My War feedback-laden bass groove with spooked-out male moans in the background.
P.S.: This record is equally punk and psychedelic. If punks are hippies, what are postpunks?
White Execution: Damage cassette (Sacred Tapes). This cassette is a split between Miami's White Moth and Springfield, Illinois's Execution Techniques. The tape opens with "Healing Girls," a tasty sampling of nasty yet nuanced power electronics. Droning, oscillating sheet-metal manipulation gives way to dueling blasts of high-pitched shrieks and blown-out, gurgling rumbles. Attempting to deduce the sound source or instruments will leave you baffled.
Execution Techniques closes out the A-side and opens B with two industrial-style stompers. Some kind of synthesizer whirs and a drum machine plods along until the whole operation bubbles over into hypnotically primitive digital metal. The closing track sees the White Execution concept realized to its fullest, when the duo teams up for a sonically overloaded, pummeling finale that sounds like a black-metal M. C. Escher painting.
Bone Owl: At the Phalluses Arc cassette (Obama Is a Socialist Records). The story: Every now and then, we receive unsolicited packages. When this innocuous-looking cassette showed up in our mailbox, we thought, Oh, weird, Bone Awl sent us a tape. But upon further inspection, we realized this tape was actually from the group Bone Owl.
Bone Awl is a California-based lo-fi black-metal group that became a pillar of the genre during the (still ongoing) black-metal boom of the '00s. Bone Owl seems to be an elaborate parody, and At the Phalluses Arc swiftly moves through dark thrash and dramatic synth stuff with little indication this is not a real band playing real music.
Part of us wishes they'd drop the goof aesthetic and just package this bad boy earnestly. On the other hand, it's a pretty thorough parody. This came with absolutely no contact info. (Return address was a Miami P.O. box.) So if you know anything about this madness, send us a letter.