Howdy campers, and thanks for coming back 'round to The Singles Collection. We know we harshed your funtime summertime glow last week with a bunch of downer synth spuzz, but we're back with some epically awesome technicolored weirdness from our friends in the Great White North (think Bob & Doug McKenzie). Yep, that's right, Canada. Actually Vancouver to be specific; a locale whose scene is bursting at the seams with more awesome bands than you can shake a maple leaf at. All of this week's selections come from the stable of Grotesque Modern, the label at the epicentre of B.C.'s art-post-punk-spunk scene.
We get to moving this week with Sex Negatives' Parkade EP, their debut offering after countless live shows. Essentially one track spread across two sides, it starts with the roar of thunder (literally) and slowly morphs into a serrated sea of atonal scraping and skronking a la Sonic Youth, with eerie, ghastly tribal pounding off in the distance. As the first movement develops, it occasionally recalls the clattering industrial collage work of Peter Christopherson (Coil) in its isolated fervor. When it re-commences on the flip, it breaks into an overheated Kraut Rock groove desperately trying to make its way to the surface through a torrent of incessant pounding and decaying guitar tacets. Disgusting and challenging, and nothing like you'd expect given the facetiously joyous cover art.
To help wash that gunk down we've got the first dispatch from Modern Creatures “Thick Thick Black” and “Time to Go” b/w “To a Crowd”. Featuring members of the exceedingly underrated Twin Crystals, what this slab delivers is a cold brace of grotty, female-fronted post-punk garotted with blades and blanketed in a layer of faux-fur fuzz. “Time to Go” is crammed with so many right angles you need a protractor to fully comprehend its undulating power, while the B-Side, “To a Crowd” is by far the best thing on display, as they appropriate a gaggle of Devo's wobbly synth lines and lead them astray down alleyways of filth-bedecked guitars and gangland vocal strangling in at attempt at penning a pity glam anthem. A success on all fronts.
Saving the most beguiling for last, we've got one-woman noise machine Mom's It Smelled Like Dirty Dog Dicks EP. An eight-song freakazoid blast beamed in from Mars on a vaguely phallic spacecraft that resembles Mickey Mouse performing illicit acts establishes her as the crazy Canadian cousin of U.S. Girls. She's not quite as feedback-drenched as USG, and her unhealthy Disney fascination immediately gives off a creepier-than-thou vibe that's hard to top, but this aural train-wreck is difficult to walk away from. The songs exhibit fetishes for tropical exotica, albeit spliced with snippets of golden-era Hollywood soundtracks (think Ben Hur), and are topped off with the most helium-saturated vocals you've ever heard, which are constantly at risk of floating away. Apparently she's doing everything in her power to sound like a pornographic Minnie Mouse on a handful of barbiturates — potentially genius, but also possibly useless.
That's the show for this week. Hopefully you've enjoyed taking a gander at the weirder side of the country that propelled Bryan Adams to international stardom. But don't fret, because next week we'll be back with another round of singles to stimulate the mind and dazzle the senses; think of it as an aural science experiment that, more than likely, won't explode in your face.