Agony Shorthand

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Remember the U-MEN? That wholly unheralded 80s Seattle band held a ton of only-sometimes-realized promise, made up in parts by "there's a bug in my pants" vocals, spastic guitar freakouts, and layering of insane amounts of overmodulated noise over what was essentially a basic garage rock template. They presaged many of the post-hardcore Touch & Go acts, while allegedly inspiring some of the Northwest's better late-80s bands. Now they have a direct descendent, whom I reckon are even better. ALUMINUM KNOT EYE appear to have been kicking around Milwaukee for a good decade now, putting out cassettes and such, and now they've finally got a full-length. It's fantastic -- raw & weird panic rock that just about busts a nut on every chord. Singer also has that crazy hot-oil-just-fell-on-my-foot caterwauling vocal style, and when he's not drowned out by an acre of feedback, he's pretty damn entertaining.

Their art-punk riffs are very big and often very disjointed -- they even go so far as to tackle an ALICE COOPER number and pull it off most admirably. That number, "Is It My Body?" is currently in heavy rotation here, as are the opening 1-2 of "Final Fling of the Amputee" and "Scales In The Tub". You want to get a better sense of where they're coming from, just check out their links list. It's like a who's who of your favorite bands: Electric Eels, Stooges, Chrome, Screamers, Hasil Adkins, etc. I'll bet ALUMINUM KNOT EYE have been marinating in these wild-ass songs for many a year, waiting to unleash them upon us. That patience has paid off with a very fine debut. Dare I say it's artastic!