When giving interviews about his time in Black Tambourine earlier this year, BT member and Slumberland Records founder Mike Schulman took pains to point out (but in a very loving way) that it was crucial to remember that the early Slumberland bands could hardly play their instruments. What was left unsaid, perhaps out of modesty, was that this same willfull amateurism often resulted in alchemical sounds that the likes of Paul Gilbert would eat a whammy bar for access to. This intense desire to create sonic wonder out of technical limitations and the tools at hand has been lustily taken up by bedroom lo-fi duo Procedure Club.
They whip up a fucking storm with their debut album Doomed Forever. So at first you’re hearing hints of Vaselines, Marine Girls, Jesus and Mary Chain, Suicide, Slowdive, and the like, but that’s just a cursory listen. Repeated spins reveal a multilayered, hardscrabble audio collage that is somehow incredibly primitive but very well-constructed at the same time. Bands like Procedure Club operate on a notion that fascinates me — that the song doesn’t have to be this sacrosanct statement, doesn’t have to be “the hit” or the punctuation mark. Procedure Club make their music as an ellipsis; it’s more about the process of making music — very loud, very weird music. Andrea’s voice is blank, icy playground brat meets Nico, while bandmate Adam cuts and pastes tik-tik-tik drum machine pulsebeats over a humming bed of altered jingle-jangle guitar and synth fuzz. The overall effect is wonderfully woozy, dizzy, and translucent. More hazy and drony than labelmates like Pains of Being Pure at Heart, hear them roar their homemade industrial roar.
Great album, very inspiring to those seeking to make music, and yet the mystique inherent in every reverbed echo or overloaded drum machine is intact.