Synthpunk

Dress Forms ‘We Don’t Dig Guitars’

Post-punk’s electro cousin is rearing its head once again, the fizzy synthpunk pioneered by bands like The Screamers and Nervous Gender channelled in a new crop of mutants from the glam infused POW! to Aussie misfits U-Bahn and Set-Top Box.

Joining the weirdo renaissance is art-punk trio Dress Forms. One of many projects featuring Portland punk veteran Jason Nickle (from Conditioner Disco Group and Collate), his live drum duties chopping against Jenny Logan and Izzy D’s primitive keyboards authentically capture that Units-like magic. We Don’t Dig Guitars, following prior mini-LP Display, is another slice of jumpy, lo-fi dissonance captured via analogue 8-track recordings.

For ten twisting minutes you race around tightly wound jams of nervous energy. ‘Ode to Crime’ transports straight to that glorious era of punk possibility without sounding derivative before the yearning for tactility and connection in the digital age ambushes you on the fuzzy ‘Attempt to Connect’. ‘Winter Shades’ veers between moody swagger and thrash fury all held together by Jenny’s shrieking vocals and we’re also treated to a cover of The Fall’s ‘Hey Student’ (Nickles adopting a nice faux Mark E. Smith singing style) and ‘Why Wait’ from Portland labelmates Way Worse.

Dress Forms have landed another cracker of a record, and sits with the best of ’em from Portland’s vibrant and growing music scene.

Spit ‘n’ Static! 1020 Radio #8

Don your lead codpiece, fly-goggles, and whatever PPE you see fit. The Spit ‘n’ Static! signal was transmitted from the 1020 Radio studio LIVE! LIVE! LIVE! That’s right! Every synthpunk throb, quiver, and ooze to be enjoyed right as it was ‘appening! 👽 👌

Spit ‘n’ Static! 1020 Radio #7

It’s that slime again! The seventh dose of Spit ‘n’ Static! corrupted 1020 Radio again today, another hour of garbled synthpunk, juddering lo-fi experiments, and alien intrusions! 👽 👌

Spit ‘n’ Static! 1020 Radio #6

The Spit ‘n’ Static! signal corrupted the 1020 Radio studio again next week, the usual sludge of synthpunk, avant-weird jams and eerie ‘appenings. Strange spectral activity haunts at 10000 Hz, so careful when you dunk yer head in! 👽  👌

Spit ‘n’ Static! 1020 Radio #5

Are you wearing your lead codpiece? The Spit ‘n’ Static! signal radiated its alien corrosion once again at Bristol’s 1020 Radio, picking up all kinds of synthpunk interference and unknown gibberish. ‘Catch the wave’ same slime, same face next month! 👽 👌⠀

Static Zombies by George A. Romero and Art of the Glitch

Spit ‘n’ Static! 1020 Radio #4

The Spit ‘n’ Static! signal invaded Bristol’s 1020 Radio once again, a full hour of avant-punk-synth-trash-fuck-spit from the unknown. Expose yourself to the slime same time, same place next month! 👽 👌

Spit ‘n’ Static! 1020 Radio #3

Bristol’s 1020 Radio was exposed to the alien signal intrusion once again, another hour of synthpunk, stinging acid rain from London, aussie sludge punk and dead channel fuzz. ‘Catch the wave’ same time next month! 👽 👌

POW! ‘Shift’

Neu! Snap! Wah! Monosyllabic onomatopoeia with exclamation punches are telling statements of intent. POW!, named after an L.A. festival called Party Out West where band members Byron Blum and Melissa Blue met, is confidently adorned across the cover of their fourth album Shift, making quite clear that this is a record about impact and hittin’ ya. Hard.

Fleeing the death rattle of gentrified San-Fran, but taking its art punk heritage of The Screamers, The Units, and Chrome with them, POW! decamped to the fringes of L.A. to soak up the grit and broken glass that was arguably missing from 2017’s Crack an Egg. With their fangs sharper and beat-up synths ever more fizzier, POW! bring a heady brew of punk rock, avant-garde spit and the occasional LSD soaked freak out.

When POW! wanna swagger, they swagger with the best of ’em. Second track ‘Disobey’ is a static ridden garage rock banger, Blue’s oscillations tangle with Blum’s corrosive guitar, yet still tightly held together with a god given hook. The snarl of Helios Creed bears a grin on the discordant ‘Machine Animal’, Blum’s growling vocals penetrated with alien vocoders and Cameron Allen’s motorik percussion. Thick slabs of atonal analogues and electronic trash exhale and gurgle on mood pieces ‘Peter’ and ‘No World’, downbeat wanders through the wrong end of POW! town.

Shift isn’t a mere dystopic exercise however. Chant along glam-disco rises from the septic murk on ‘Free the Floor’, an irresistibly catchy number with a big, fat groove and perfectly placed hand-claps. Echoes of ‘London Calling’ haunt the fervid ‘Metal & Glue’, a straight up rock and roll tune and thrilling demonstration of Blum’s solo skills.

Fizzing, throbbing, buoyant, and electric. Shift is a glam-infused garage rock gem, left to corrode and mutate in nuclear radiation, a glorious punk assault slicked with electronic toxicity.

Spit ‘n’ Static! 1020 Radio #2

Bristol’s 1020 Radio was invaded once again, the Spit ‘n’ Static! signal belching fourth another hour of synthpunk, avant-weird junk, mutilated cattle, phone-ins from hell, and all manner of corrosive radiation. Be exposed again same time, same place, on the 13th of June! 👌 👽

Spit ‘n’ Static! 1020 Radio #1

Was a pleasure to introduce Bristol’s 1020 Radio to Glaciers’s mutated brother! The full gamut of synthpunk, avant-weird jams, garbled voices and fizzy spit in an hour of electronic radiation courtesy of everyone’s favourite Head on a Stick! Catch the alien signal intrusion same time next month, on Thursday 9th! 👌 👽