Smile Politely

Local capsule reviews: August 2011

Horrible Things – Demo 4

Opening with a dialog sample from Fast Times at Ridgemont High and clocking in at under four minutes, Demo 4 gets the job done faster than Mike Damone in a pool house. Musically, Demo 4 demonstrates the group’s knack for ultra-catchy pop-punk, especially on the second track, “A Friend Named Food”, which melds unabashedly emo lyrics to a perfectly matched selection of riffs. With the recent addition of Bloomington’s Vince Aguilar on guitar, Horrible Things seemed poised to break out this semester, perhaps with a full-length (hint hint).


Maltross / Rvins – split cassette

This split cassette takes local metal acts Maltross and Rvins into heretofore unheard of levels of heaviness, especially on the Maltross side, the six-minute sludge opera “She Came From the Sky”. Rvins opt for a bit more subtle approach (tempo changes, whoa), but still retain the punishing volume and wall of sound. While this is unfortunately Maltross’ last release, two of the band’s members are forging ahead in a completely different direction as Bed Time. It’s also an interesting collision of two local labels, Crippled Sound, who will release it on purple tapes (but only at the last Maltross show, which takes place next month in Peoria) and Error, who’ve got it on red.

Petunias – Day Times / Two Legs

I must admit, this didn’t do much to pull me in at the start, but the insistently repetitive grooves that Petunias lock in to and jam on end up growing on you quite a bit, and the terrific production, heavily indebted to Downward is Heavenward (specifically “Apollo“) boosts the music significantly. Also, look at that fucking cover art. Seriously. Motherfucking rabbits ejaculating sunshine.

Evil Tents – Emptiness is Loveliness EP

This EP from John Isberg (Firebird Band, the Blackouts) couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune time. The hushed acoustics and whispered vocals are clearly reminiscent of fall, and the ultra-sparse arrangements are a welcome contrast to the recent trend of highly-produced, all spaces filled recordings coming out of Champaign-Urbana.

Comfort Food – Demo

A geniune prog band operating in Champaign? What a welcome surprise. This brand new (they’re yet to play a live show) bass and drum duo is musically reminiscent of a massively stoned Triple Whip with the tendency for weirdness and noise-freakouts. While I can’t begin to fathom what titles like “Fancy Water” or “Faizan Holds a Bake Sale” mean, I’ve got zero complaints about the tunes.






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