Friday, 23 August 2013

Good Throb - Culture Vulture

Second 7" from this band made up, as all bands are legally required to be nowadays, from members about 25 other bands. Abrasive punk songs jagged like compound fractures. On Muscle Horse records.

Culture Vulture takes a long time to get going,  all slow stumbling build like it's coalescing
naturally out of a tune-up as the bass-twang and experimental drumchecks come from randomness in towards something. Then the guitar's properly kick-in and you get those vocals, snapping and accusatory, so piercing that they can turn the words 'literary supplement' into a killing screed. I love Good Throb's vocals, they are so unbeatably harsh. My favourite moment on this song is the shout of "THAT'LL LEARN YA!" over bare drums as the chorus drops away into a roll-call of cultural figures, from Judith Butler to John Sargent to Frida Kahlo, again building in intensity and wrath. This song is all about that rise and fall, hitting a riff and then diving out of it back into clattering incoherence before pulling you back in again. An attack on bourgeois pursuits (or possibly a knowing celebration) that is deliberately making itself hard to get a handle on, so as to prevent co-option, maybe. "THAT'LL LEARN YA!"

Headache, a chiller vibe, but still ready to stab, where it's got one of those insistent bass runarounds that just carries itself discretely, settling into a nice little groove, making you think of a Pixies song or Up to the Fells by King of the Slums, it's a fitting background for the deadpan tale of sleep-deprivation degrading from "I've got to stay awake. I've got to read some books" into "NOW I'M SPEWING! AND THERE'S NOTHING WORTH DOING!"

Torture Garden, stop-start, each thing stabbing each other in mechanistic click-clack like Stiff Little Finger's Closed Groove, weirder in its construction though, mucky like a Lumpy and the Dumpers song or a fleshy Steve Aylett digression, again making sounds that seem at odds and random push together into furious moments, speed and noise shifts to unsettle throughout, those flensing vocals, sometimes feeling almost incidental in its anger. Here are three pretty much perfect songs of an terrific furious aesthetic, arty but fuck-off, like some motherfucker nailing his hand to the wall of MOMA.

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