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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Country Teasers
Science Hat Artistic Cube Moral Nosebleed Empire
In The Red Records

Country Teasers singer Ben Wallers channels Mark E. Smith through his emaciated, uniform-clad frame. Wallers' vision of country music is filtered through a puke-stained love for The Fall, producing an ugly, atonal and noisy-as-fuck redheaded stepchild. With the Country Teasers, Wallers and an assortment of fellow Scotsmen have recorded three spellbinding albums that will drop jaws for how alternately horrendous and amazing they can be, and how, most of the time, they're simultaneously both.

Not a band for sticklers who like guitars and voices in tune and drums in time, the Country Teasers are wonderfully sloppy. Live, a group of haggard, bored-looking men and the eerily enthusiastic Wallers coax a hint of twang from a shrill barrage of white noise. On record, it isn't much different.

Science Hat Artistic Cube Moral Nosebleed Empire (or S.A.M.E. for short) is a collection of unreleased recordings the group made from September 1991 through the summer of 1996. Considering how horrific (not in a bad way, though) much of their released material has been, the idea of outtakes is a scary one. And for good reason. The majority of S.A.M.E.'s 20 cuts (40 on the vinyl version) are forgettable throwaways (most disappointingly, their cover of Ice Cube's "We Had to Tear This Motherfucker Up"), but three songs are positively perfect.

"I'm a New Person, Ma'am" begins with an out-of-tune piano repeating two notes and Wallers declaring, "I was sent by the devil to raise up Christ again." Now that he's declared himself the Antichrist, the pace picks up. The piano dies out, leaving only the sound of tape hiss until a disfigured guitar riff and drum machine kick in, dragging Wallers' reluctant monotone along with it.

Several of the Teasers' favorite subjects — religion, sex and misogyny — find their way into "Adam Wakes Up," which mutates the book of Genesis into a sordid Garden of Eden tale that unites Adam's and Eve's genitals, a worm, a crow and the serpent in a bizarre food-chain orgy. But the lazy slide guitar and bass line that trot behind Wallers' nonsensical mutterings are beautiful.

(A warning: some of Wallers' lyrics could be considered offensive. At first listen he seems racist, misogynic and homophobic, but if you dig into the lyrics a bit more, you'll find that they aren't what they seem. For example, in "Anytime Cowboy," a song from their debut, Wallers sings, "We are the Hitler of comedy/ And everyone else is a Jew." Anti-Semitic? Not really. In poor taste? Absolutely. But, on S.A.M.E. there is little objectionable material, unless you find sex offensive.)

Best of all is the melancholy and nearly refined "Secrets in Welsh." The song actually has discernible parts (typically a no-no for the Teasers) that build and intertwine towards a remarkable, drawling chorus. It's still a bit careless, of course, but the strength of the melody and Wallers' voice is arresting. It's a rare occasion when the Teasers don't mask their subtleties in sheets of distortion.

This isn't an album for someone who has never heard of the Teasers (which, as far as I can tell, is nearly everyone), but since their earlier releases are impossible to find (particularly their brilliant self-titled debut), it might be the only shot to hear one of the UK' s best underground bands. Scottish Fall fans making country music certainly sounds strange on paper, but the first moment Ben Wallers' heavily distorted voice comes busting out of your speakers, it'll all make sense.

by Yancey Strickler

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