Pop. 1280

Pop. 1280

Pop. 1280

The Horror

Sacred Bones

There’s a certain type of twitchy, anxious music that a fan from the early ’90s remembers (and fetishizes), a darker edge to the pre-alternative nation musical landscape. When sociopathic giants like Big Black, Laughing Hyenas, Jesus Lizard, and Unsane walked the earth, the shadow of the Birthday Party loomed large over every tormented guitar lick. The lyrical content was every bit as insalubrious and misanthropic as the music, an insomniac, grinding roar issuing forth from the most nervous pit of your stomach, yet it had this odd, very physical thrust and groove to it and lyrics were delivered in a pained screech or a series of disconcerting tics. The overall impression is that these are not nice people and this is not nice music that could soundtrack happy memories and success in life.

There’s a new group of standard bearers now. Pop. 1280 absolutely revels in the horror of it all, and The Horror is a resolutely ugly gash of sound as the result. Bad vibes and noir moods never relent, driven along by shrieking, spooky guitar lines and the best detuned bass groove I’ve heard since David J on Bela Lugosi’s Dead. The NYC quartet brings both the nastier edge of goth music and the AmRep legacy unwillingly into the 21st century, and though it’s ugly as fuck, you sure as hell can dance to it. Album highlights include the explosive “Crime Time,” “Beg Like a Human,” with a crawling, itchy boogie that leaves both listener and creator utterly debased, and “Dogboy,” dead-eyed, ‘luded Iggy Pop proud.

Recommended for Birthday Party and Christian Death fans who want to do a “Scared Straight” thing to all the young fresh-faced kids who keep trying to take away their music. NOT FOR THE WELL-ADJUSTED.

Sacred Bones: sacredbonesrecords.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Comin’ At Ya!
    Comin’ At Ya!

    The Blu-ray reissue of Comin’ At Ya, a 1981 3D Spaghetti Western movie falls flat.

  • Bobby Rush
    Bobby Rush

    Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush ( Omnivore Recordings). Review by James Mann.

  • Geezër

    Geezër brought their old-school show all the way from their Miami rest home, and Julius C. Lacking thinks they were quite spry.

  • Bully

    Bully greets Orlando with apathy and anger toward one of its theme parks. Jen Cray smiles and thinks, “Man, this band would have fit in well in the nineties!”

  • Luther Dickinson
    Luther Dickinson

    Blues & Ballads: A Folksinger’s Songbook: Volumes I & II (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Conway

    Big Talk EP (Self-Released). Review by Jen Cray.

  • Freakwater

    Scheherazade (Bloodshot Records). Review by James Mann.

  • The Haymarket Squares
    The Haymarket Squares

    Light It Up. Review by Carl F Gauze.

  • Ani DiFranco
    Ani DiFranco

    Years pass, and so do our legends, but one constant remains: there are always artists living and breathing that are worth your time and attention. Ani DiFranco is a major one, according to Jen Cray and a whole legion of fans.

  • Javier Escovedo
    Javier Escovedo

    Kicked Out Of Eden (Saustex Media). Review by James Mann.

From the Archives