Music Reviews

Fundamentally Useless

Canfield Black (Four Track Demos)

Since I moved far away, strange things are finding their way into my mailbox. Like this little slice of hell from a band called Fundamentally Useless; address unknown, lineup unknown, method of recording revealed as my personal favorite – the immortal four track recorder. I like them already. My initial hopes are further buoyed by a buzzing, wall-of-locusts sound immediately upon pressing play. All instruments and vocals seem to meld together into an unforgiving Link Ray rumble. Eventually I was able to discern shifts and pauses in this lovely shambling noise that indicated bursts of glorious, dirty garage rock and a messy cover of a Tori Amos song (watch out boys, those royalties can be a killer for up-and-comers).

Canfield Black is pretty ace, but I hope they don’t upgrade to a higher level of recording technology or the magic will disappear for me. I know bands always like to strive for perfection, but there’s something to be said for spontaneity and cheap noise. Existing in the now. The now is Samhain meets “Louie Louie” meets Mudhoney stomp with sneered monotone vocals that occasionally burst into damaged emotion that would do any emo band proud. I picture them wearing leather with black, slicked-back hair, toting Switchblades and wearing Joy Division shirts. Black hearts securely pinned to jacket sleeves. Don’t disappoint me. And get rid of those nagging “nu music” influences, they’ll drag you down!

“Artherosclerosis” is subsonic Nirvana with Michael Monroe sneers and Glen Danzig authority. “Forgiveness A Gun” burns a little slower, but reeks of drive-in movie madness and trawls the familiar areas of Pixies dynamics. “Suffer” is a sore-throat rant against God, that wears just a little bit lyrically, but redeems itself with the fuzzed-out Sabbath bass. “Precious Things” makes a Tori Amos song listenable. No mean feat. This band could go two ways right now, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Fancy some danger?

E-mail: precipitate8@cs.com


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