Reviewed by Music/Program Director Brian Turner

VARIOUS Fit for Kings Series Two (Crawlspace)
The New Zealand underground continues to thrive nicely in these post-Xpressway label times, with various imprints like Metonymic, Crawlspace and Corpus Hermeticum continuing to explore seedy underbellies of free rock, jazz, and pure noisemaking as it exists in the Southern Hemisphere. While Crawlspace's new compilation does not have any really well known names like the Dead C or Gate, it does offer the next wave of some great explorers. Crude is a one-man cosmic rollercoaster, Pit Viper overload spuzzy amps most pleasingly, Lapdog visit some Barrett areas with lo-fi weirdness, and Sandoz Lab Technicians seem to mine some AMM territory. Hopefully someday one of these labels will get around to doing a retrospective on Garbage & the Flowers, who were a totally insane NZ outfit, but for now the new sounds keep floating out from down under in some innovative ways.

VARIOUS Friday Night at the Hideout (Norton)
Once again, leave it to Norton to put on the archeological digging helmets and come up with more fabulous rockin' sounds on the past you didn't even know existed. Here, Detroit circa 1964-67 goes under the microscope, in particular the scne surrounding a suburban label and club called the Hideout. Indeed, a document the early stomping grounds for the likes of Glen Frey and Bob Seger is not something to be fearful of; instead, 21 excellent chunks of primitive pop & garage offer a glimpse into what was a great scene (and the club also provided early support for the likesof the MC5 and Mitch Ryder). Also, this is yet another chance to dip into the slim-but-great output of the Pleasure Seekers (Suzi Quatro and sisters, one of which was mom to Sherilyn Fenn on a side note), whose shout-out anthem to beer "What a Way To Die" remains one of thee all-time great garage punkers.

Lopez is the sick puppy who lasy year came up with the CD of an hour of a piledriving blackmetal loop that punched you in the face, and now he and fellow sound constructor Zbigniew Karkowski come up with new material that blows. Literally. THIS CD BLOWS AIR ON YOU. SERIOUSLY, A CONSTANT STREAM OF AIR, AS IF YOU WERE SITTING IN FRONT OF A FAN. How this is done is as mysterious yet quite explainable: you know how certain low-end bass frequencies can pummel you from speakers with their beats, well, here is a case of a continual rush of compounded, low end frequencies (that WHOOSH, not rumble) and the result is a slow hour-build of subsonic tones to a full on, hair-blowing maelstrom of sound. I called up whoever was in the building, and sure enough, Volunteer Director Scott, and two guys from a live band Diane was taping sat between the speakers and had a nice breeze for a while. As of now, I do not have the report on whether this works over the radio, or whether all the various broadcast limiters and such will eradicate the tones. Would be great if it worked over the internet stream, eh?

HYDROPLANE The Sound of Changing Places (Drive-In)
An on-again, off-again, on-again Australian project of members of Cat's Miaow & Huon members, landing perfectly in its attempt to create indie pop with intimate trippy, and ambient leanings with a smattering of dancefloor potential. If you're a fan of the wooziness projected by bands like Pram, Broadcast, and Dymaxion, Hydroplane's assertion of minimalism, invention, and gorgeous textures (especially those offered by the female vocalist Kerrie), this should satisfy.

SKYWAVE Don't Say Slow (Cherry Coated)
A new EP from a DC-trio much beloved around these parts. Unabashed worshippers of pure British noisy guitar pop, the heavily processed kind, Skywave evoke the ghosts of Ride, My Bloody Valentine, and early 80s Creation label (especially in the bubblegum noise of the Jesus and Mary Chain). These influences aren't new, obviously, and show up in everyone from All Natural Lemon & Lime Flavors to the Lilys, but I especially love Skywave's raw attack, crashing into noise chorus after noise chorus, guitarist Paul Baker both anarchic and ultra controlled in the sounds of what seem to be like six amps (it's only one); with the melodies just poking their heads amidst the chaos. Their approach to it all is so clearly from the point of view of guys who revel in this sound (they even cover the bands they obviously adore), and I can't recall a band so giddily rolling around in noise since the late great Faith Healers.

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