Sneaks – It’s a Myth LP (2017)

Sneaks sounds like a minimalist ESG, bass-driven jams with a sprinkle of a-la-Fall repetition. “Inside Edition” seems like an apology for commercial ambition: “You pay with resistance / just get a commission” as it validates the quest for cash. Her whispery rapping style sounds like secret instructions for a mystical quest. She brushes melody on “Look Like That”, approaching a Stereolab chorus. On”Not My Combination” she gets playful with her inflections around the cavernous bass booms despite its angular moves.

“Pnbj” submits to its dancefloor ambitions with a subdued new wave urgency. This is where Sneaks stretches the potential of her minimalist style, as in the keyboard fugue of “With A Cherry On Top”. She sounds at her most balanced when incorporating spoken-word bridges in between melodies. “Future” sounds exactly like its title, as Sneaks ups the funk ante, recalling classic acts like Parliament and Zapp, but defining her own wave of intimate DIY abstract depictions.

Modernity weighs on Sneaks like Sisyphus’ rolling rock. A serious artist with a lot to say regarding the plight of modern aesthetics. Gradually carving out her space in music’s collective consciousness, I would turn to her music for a study of the tensions between dance, poetry, and live performance.

Milk Music – “Mystic 100’s” (2017)

I’m out of my territory here but I really dig this. I was expecting hardcore, but got instead drawn-out soul-hardcore with great tone on guitar feedback and a singer/songwriter with a pleading radio rock voice. Could have easily been generic rock noise, but sounds great, and emotional, like good music should.

Wow, am I inept or what? No frame of reference whatsoever (maybe 90’s grunge?), just digging the thorough basslines, guitar instrumentation and heart-on-sleeve vocals. Is this what Royal Headache apparently sounds like? No clue, but will run this one numerous times through the percolator and obtain great grain.


Pharmakon Artist Statement

She started to study trance states and equate her live performances to them. In trance states, music and the body are used to transcend the physical form and make contact with some outside force. In the live setting, she used sound and her body to create an exchange of energy and make contact with outside forces – humanity, empathy, the audience.

Man is a rabid dog, straining at its leash of mortality with bared teeth. Snarling and clawing over each other, we aim to reach a higher ground to claim as our own. There are those who will attempt to exert power over others to attain it. They will sniff you out; lay claim over your body, your actions, your thoughts, your time. (How starkly human, so desperate for the sense of vantage over all versions of its own reflection!) Their aims are empty, because their power is a construct they created and gave back to themselves. They too are small and inconsequential. All people are only human and humans are only animals. The nature of existence and our sentience is chance, owing nothing to anything. Humankind is of no special significance to the universe. (Despite all our scrambling rejections, we cannot transcend all of our instincts — just animals, lost in a confused dream, where mankind is real and at the center of everything). We are each nothing but a single, short-lived cell in a vast organism which itself will one day die. If we accept that the only true claim sentience gives us is our tiny sliver of time, it opens us to revel in it, to make CONTACT. When we pick up on transmissions between the private rooms inside our heads and the flesh of our vessels, when thought escapes its isolation and is seen, heard and understood. When our mind uses the body in order to transcend and escape it! The moments of connection/communion/CONTACT, when the veil is for a brief but glorious moment lifted, and we are free. Empathy! EMPATHY, NOW!

Uranium Club – All Of Them Naturals (2016)

Very funny concept band with a story about working for a chemical corporation. A lot of working-class sentiment and humor, bizarrely recalling early 80’s UK punk, and Woody Allen self-deprecation. Great hi-fi sound, with great solos, choruses, changes, and all that subtle musicianship.

Highly satirical, but of what? Spinal Tap as if directed by The Coen Brothers.



Midnite Snaxxx – Chew On This LP (2016)

Amazing powerpop album with two very good straight-punk rippers. I usually fall on the hardcore side of music, but the songwriting here is phenomenal, more NYC Dolls than dull. A lot of people point to powerpop as the beginning of punk, but it takes serious perception to gracefully achieve both. Midnite Snaxx is all pizzazz, Hollywood, Oakland budget-trash, John Waters musical, and Burger Boogaloo, all rolled into one. For purists, Chris of 90’s Chicano punk misfits, Loli & The Chones, on second guitar.

Trivia: Tina Luchessi of Trashwomen, Bobbyteens, Cyclops, used to be in Midnite Snaxx.


Sneaks, “Inside Edition”

What a great time to be alive! Incredible diversity of  sounds, and deep reworkings of previous styles, birthing new reactive forms. Sneaks released an outstanding debut, first on DC label Sister Polygon, then redistributed through famous Merge Records, and by French Paris boutique label, Danger Records.

Beat-machine minimal post-punk, with soft-spoken rap poetics. Political, obliquely. Anti-pop to be sure, but careful to preserve jubilation. The question is…Does it work as a single? Probably not, but it evokes fascination and anticipation for full-length. Avant-garde beware!

Doug Musorock Radio

Recent releases and classic reissues in rock/punk/garage/psych and sometimes weird noise. Middleground between Sangue Electrico and dynamite haemorrhage. Musorock also wrote the most accurate Nots review ever:

Yelped vocals, sharp turns on guitar, pummeling no-nonsense drumming and warehouse recording dynamics give both of these singles (an earlier four-song EP and a two-track follow-up) a rough, newly-awaken “Bride of Frankenstein” sort of feel to them, hissing and filled with distrust for any way but its own.

“Filled with distrust for any way but its own…..” Words to live by.

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