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Issue 179 Recording Reviews
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Drive In Oddities - The Pom Pom Girls
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Since starting 29 years ago [yes, it's been that long] we here at The Trouble With Normal have been interested in hearing the music that you have been making and recording. Feel free to send your vinyl, CDs or tapes ("for sale" only or at least take the effort to make a cover for them. This goes for CD-R's also.) to our cramped but we call it home P.O. Box so we can possibly review it. If your release is only available as a download send us a link and we'll check it out as well (as with CDRs and tapes please make a cover for it). It may take us a while to get to them (we do have other obligations in our lives) but we will review them in time and guarantee an honest review Until the next issue, here are some recordings that just might interest you. Boone

KELLY BETZ - Motor Mind download EP
Longtime readers know that Kelly's music has caught our attention for a while (as well as his recent takes on various genres) so when we learned this would come out we gave it a stream. Kelly]s latest finds him veering into nu metal territory full of downtuned guitars as well as a blend of live drums and programmed rhythms that go for the jugular with an almost industrial leaning amidst the deep lines of distortion at times. In this landscape he creates songs that appear to be a personal bloodletting of sorts taking on various types of personal trauma. It's a sometimes dissonant ride that allows him to draw on parts of his creative past with the occasional rap part or the hook that would fit a punk song but fit very neatly in the world of modern rock radio. Motor Mind differs from Kelly's earlier work yet still fits his overall vision. (BOONE)
(kellybetz.bandcamp.com)

FOXX BODIES - Vixen LP
I'd heard about this band but I never had a chance to check out their music until very recently when I was looking for music online on a day off of the paying job. The latest album from Foxx Bodies begins with an almost lo-fi leaning garage punk basher before taking the listener on a sonic trip that has pit stops in clean toned surf influenced rock and punk along the way. Guitars that go from fuzzy to clean to bittersweet on a drop of a pin and a rhythm section that can be both hard driving and laconic offers up songs detailing such topics as misogyny, family crisis, abuse, religion, coping as a runaway and the like that mixes emotions such as anger, fear, worry, and the struggle to survive to create a sonic tale that often has left turns (both musically and lyrically) but manages to keep moving forward. The music here is raw, sometimes bordering on messiness, yet never fails to get the point across or to surprise you when you least expect it. This is one of those albums that won't be everyone's bottle or wine but needs to be heard regardless. Wish I'd come across this sooner. Foxx Bodies have created an album that I highly recommend checking out and hearing for yourself what's going on here. (BOONE)
(Kill Rock Stars)

NAPALM DEATH - Resentment Is Always Seismic - a final throw of Throes mini album
We saw this was coming out as we were in progress on this issue and decided to see what Napalm Death were up to. This time around the pioneers of extreme music unleashes a mini album where they take their grindcore aural assault and shake things up a little by mixing in elements of hardcore punk, noise, industrial and a slightly slower tempo or two. From this arises a collection of songs that seem to simmer in their stew of distorted guitars and bass only to get sonically bum rushed with a short sharp shock of hardcore. This approach lets these commentaries on the injustices they see around them (narcissism in positions of power, religion used to control people's bodily autonomy, the cost of resentment), as well as a couple of covers from Slabi and Bad Brains respectively keeps us on our toes as it progresses with repeated listens uncovering something you don't expect. At only eight songs this walks the gray area between mini album and full-length (though some would definitely consider it the latter) but the heft of the music grabs the listener and refuses to let up. While a case could be made that this is a later audio companion to their last album this stands on its own and gives us a taste of what lies ahead for Napalm Death. Now I have to pick my jaw up off the floor. (BOONE)
(Century Media)

PROTON - Men Behind The Sun download EP
I'd wanted to check this out last issue but hadn't been able to due to backlog and time constraints so it got pushed back here. The debut EP from Proton delivers short fast blasts of modern leaning hardcore punk with some hints of grind. Built on fast drums and wall of distortion power chord guitar these short songs explode out the speakers like someone dropped a match on a gas leak. This band tears into the war machine, cops, religion and the like as the music goes by at near breakneck speed. These guys are still new (they formed in the last year if sources down in Columbia are4 correct) but come off as a meeting of the minds of a lot having torn through HC and grindcore for years beforehand - keeping all the rawness sonically and letting it add to the overall feel. This came out late last fall but only recently had the tape release show (hopefully it will be offered on their bandcamp page). Readers who like punk loud, fast, and in your face will totally rage on this. (BOONE)
(protonpunk.bandcamp.com)

TWIN TOMBS - 4:23 EP
I first found out about this band when I saw online they were playing this zine’s original homebase of Columbia back in January at PDM. While I was unable to see said show I was curious so I decided to check out the band’s latest. On their latest EP (it was also released as a lathe cut 7 inch) Twin Tombs tears through a collection of short fast noise blasts that almost border on micro-songs at times. Distorted guitars on the verge of feeding back are ladled over rampaging rhythms as a backdrop to these missives of anger and rage. At times this is more of a sonic boom than extreme heavy music but they do remember their roots in noise and grind and know their talents within that. Twin Tombs' music isn't for everyone but those readers into more extreme music (and, yes, into pure straight up noise) should give it a listen. The lathe cut 7" is sold out but those interested can still buy a download. (BOONE)
(twintombs.bandcamp.com)

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