ARTIST PROFILE: SADIST PINK

Interview by Sam Spencer

With the drop of Sadist Pink’s debut album Dolorem Ipsum, I got a chance to do a little Q&A with him about what it’s like to be making and releasing music while the world continues to cave in on itself. 

Firstly how are you and what have you been spending your time doing amidst this pandemic shit?

I’ve been doing good, thanks. Most of the time I’m catching up on schoolwork and just generally worrying about the state of the world or being misanthropic, so nothing too far from the usual, I guess. In my free time, I’m going into work alone at the local community garden and reading a bunch. Aside from being far from friends, I’m very appreciative of how lucky and safe I’ve been.

How do you feel about dropping a project right now?

There’s a little guilt about the timing…it’s a wild feeling to be promoting my work at a time like this. But simultaneously, this album is all about the ‘end of the world’ ideas and emotions that I’m usually dealing with, so it also feels like there’s no better time to release these songs.

Where are you from originally/where do you live now?

I’m from Trenton, New Jersey and that’s where I’m at right now.

What kind of music scene did you get introduced to early on? And who put you on?

I started just going to Philly noise and DIY shows a while back in high school, but I haven’t been deep into that recently, I guess. It’s a long-ish drive from Trenton. I guess I just stumbled into it.

When did you start making music?

I’ve been making my own music since around 2013-ish, but I’ve been playing instruments since I was young.

What did your first stuff sound like? How much has it changed since then and how so?

My earlier stuff was definitely way less put together. I was working off GarageBand and just fucking around with an amphead and a looper pedal in my room. It was all very glitchy and slow and dark, so I guess my stuff’s gotten more formal and less repetitive, but I’ve really been down for the same general vibe.

What is your creative process like?

It sometimes starts on the piano in my house or a guitar, where I might come up with a melody, but usually, it just gets going on my laptop. I usually just post up in Logic software for a couple hours on the porch and just work on a beat and vocals. I come up with something I like and then let it sit for months on my computer before I ever re-record vocals on my microphone upstairs. It’s a long process with no guarantee of success. I’ve got way too much music just sitting on hard drives. Maybe I’m just lazy.

Tell me about your name.

I just liked the sound of the two words together. It’s jarring but pretty.

When people listen to Dolorem Ipsum, what kind of environment do you suggest they be in?

Hmm… I think being on public transit on a rainy day makes this project sound 10 times better but I suggest they dodge that fare tho.

Was there a conceptual bottom line going into this new project?

Going into this project I was thinking a lot about how I feel very chaotic inside most days and I almost always see that chaos mirrored by the outside world. It’s such a struggle to see beauty in the world’s violence. I’m always wondering what finding peace looks like in a broken world and if that peace will always just be escapism or ignorance. And how do we justify finding that peace? Imma stop myself before I start a philosophical monologue.

Do you feel like you achieved it?

Very much so.

How long did this project take?

It’s been a while. At least a year or so now.

What role does music play in your life right now?

Music is and has always been a great place for me to process what I feel and think. It gives me ways to dissect myself and the world around me that I think are crucially important. Only recently have I been thinking about how others relate to my music, which is weird because it’s always been such a personal experience for me.

Who are you inspired / who do you listen to at the moment?

My mom was always bumping Sade when I was young so I think she’s my biggest influence for sure, and then there were Bjork and Toro y Moi too. These days I’ve been listening to lots of Yves Tumor, Ecco2k, Jessica Pratt, and Oneohtrix Point Never. 

Who did the cover art? I’m a fan

Thanks, it’s just something I threw together.

Do you have a favorite track on it?

I think ‘Esc’ sums the project up the best. 

Where can people listen/stream when it drops?

The album’s up on Spotify and Apple Music but there’s also a music video for ‘Of Desire’ up on YouTube.

Can we look forward to any shows or live performances when things calm down?

Ahhh, I’ll give that a maybe. That shit makes me mad anxious, but we’ll see. 

Any shout outs or last words?

Shoutout to my friends for their love, and Noam Chomsky. Plus shoutout to you for this interview, right?

Chunky Shrapnel: A Movie-esque Review

By Bartek Jaskulski

As we approach our second month during our surreal quarantine, we’ve come to quickly adapt to our surroundings. This includes a number of changes within the industry, whether it be grocery stores, school systems, and even our national parks. One specific industry that has taken a massive hit from this is the music industry. In times where concerts have been delayed for the foreseeable future, artists have to quickly adjust themselves on how to bring a “live experience” to their fans. While some of these artists took the approach of performing for Minecraft festivals (a completely real and surreal experience), others have taken the approach of creating movies for listeners to enjoy in the comfort of their home, a “straight to DVD” experience per se. One prime example of this is the band “King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard”, if their brand new movie “Chunky Shrapnel”.

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard (also referred to as simply King Gizz) is a psychedelic rock band of 7 people originating from Australia. When looking up the band through a Google search, the group is labelled as a psychedelic rock band, although their last two albums from 2019 proves to show that they are anything but that in recent years. Starting off 2019 with their album “Fishing for Fishies,” the album starts off showing us what they’re capable of in the blues/boogie rock area. As it progresses, the album slowly deforms into a much darker, “synthier” style as seen in Arcanine and Cyboogie. Later on in the year, the band released a second album by the name of “Infest the Rats’ Nest”, which comes off of a completely different spectrum of what “Fishing for Fishies” was. Bringing on the genres of thrash and metal, the group manages to bring a cohesive look on their take of the heavy genres. This brings us to “Chunky Shrapnel”, a movie showcasing the band through their tour of Europe in 2019.

“Chunky Shrapnel” was originally to be shown in select cinemas throughout the globe, but due to the pandemic they took on a different approach. Starting on April 17th at 6 PM, the band released the movie on Vimeo exclusively for only 24 hours, making this seem much more like a grand premiere. The film is a prime way to experience the thrill of attending a King Gizz concert and it could not have come at a better time. In addition to this, a live album will be released on April 24, showcasing many of the songs performed throughout the film as well as adding on songs that have not been heard before.

Not only was it fan-fulfilling to watch this film concert, but it was also pleasurable to see that the whole piece was recorded on Kodak film and it shows. The raw nature of film could be seen greatly throughout the movie, especially within the shots of the band performing throughout pieces such as “Murder of The Universe” and “Planet B”. The colors especially tend to stand out during these times, giving a warm, fuzzy feeling to the viewer as the show goes on.

Although the movie brings much to the viewer, it can also be said that there’s not much that you can experience if you have already. Coming from a person that has seen them live at Franklin Music Hall this past August, the movie reminisces of those times. The film starts us off with the killer entrance of the song “Self-Immolate”, reliving it the same way back in August. “Murder of The Universe” was also a outstanding thriller within the film, as well as Ambrose’s dive into “Let Me Mend The Past”. These two were also songs that very well stood out to me back at the Franklin Music Hall, but I am in no way complaining to relive it once more.

Chunky Shrapnel was coincidentally brought to us in a time where we have to stay put and make radical changes to even our ways of enjoying ourselves, such as seeing live shows once again. This fills parts of the gap for us, letting us experience a truly blunt, gritty King Gizzard concert. Fans will find themselves indulging in many aspects of the film that they greatly favor, whereas bringing a great experience to people beginning to sink their toes into the world that is King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard.

Chunky Shrapnel comes out digitally on April 24th. It will also be out on vinyl on May 18th.

color theory by Soccer Mommy Review

by Lukas Da Silva

image of Soccer Mommy promoting her new album, color theory, from npr.org

Sophia Regina Allison, aka Soccer Mommy, has been putting in a lot of work these past couple years to make her own place in the music scene. She has been doing everything from putting out single after single to touring all around the world in an attempt to get her name out. Now with her new album, color theory coming out, she has finally cemented herself as a staple of the indie scene right now. This album was a great success that not only built upon what she created on her previous albums, but also improved on it with new elements on her instrumentation and lyricism. With a clearer sound and focus, beautiful instrumentation that sounds even richer than her previous work, and her unique and instantly recognizable vocals, Soccer Mommy has presented us with an album that is truly a culmination of years of work. 

From songs such as “circle the drain” to “lucy”, Allison brings back the passionate and emotion filled lyricism from her previous works such as For Young Hearts while enriching the instrumental sounds she touched on in past songs. Hitting heavy topics such as her mother’s terminal illness, her own mental health, and the happiness lost as you slowly become an adult, Allison seems to be showing off the growth she has gained since becoming an artist and making her debut album.

As you listen to this album, expect to hear a wide variety of sounds that Allison has cultivated over the years, as some of the best tracks from this album are sure to stick with you even weeks after listening to them. The infectious and ear catching “circle the drain,” with its 2000’s sounding instrumentals, is sure to leave you humming it long after it ends. The melancholy inducing “royal screw up,” with its soft drumwork and pensive lyrics, leaves listeners questioning their own insecurities. Finally, the tear-jerking ode to Allison’s mother “yellow is the color of her eyes” is a tribute to the pain caused by terminal illness. These songs show the broad range of emotions and ideas the album has while still maintaining a consistently beautiful sound. These songs are some of the best that Soccer Mommy has ever put out and it’s easy to hear the amount of time and work that was put in each track. While these three songs might be the best of the album, that doesn’t mean the album is lacking in the other songs. Each song tells its own story and further propels you into the mind of Soccer Mommy, so take your time to enjoy this beautiful album.

Kiss My Super Bowl Ring by The Garden

by Dominick Baglivo

Image from https://www.spin.com/2020/02/garden-kiss-my-super-bowl-ring-album/

On their fourth studio album, The Garden absolutely excel at what they have always done best—getting weird as fuck.

Kiss My Super Bowl Ring, the fourth studio album by Orange County duo The Garden, sees them build upon their weirdo-art punk sound to create their most adventurous and impressive output yet. Following up 2018’s Mirror Might Steal Your Charm, which saw the duo of Wyatt and Fletcher Shears adopt jester aesthetics, the two have now enlisted the help of what can only be described as green goblins. Whether you credit the green goblins or natural artistic progression for this is up to your discretion, but there is no doubt The Garden have never embodied their own artistic vision of “vada vada” as well as they do on Kiss My Super Bowl Ring.

From The Garden’s website, “Vada Vada is a term that represents total freedom of expression without boundaries or guidelines of any sort.” If we are discussing the boundaries of Kiss My Super Bowl Ring, let’s be very clear—there are none. The album starts out rather tame for the duo with lead single, “Clench to Stay Awake”, which—save for a mildly chaotic midsection—describes feelings of helplessness and subsequent struggles to cope over light instrumentation. From there, Kiss My Super Bowl Ring quickly transforms into the most impressive musical clusterfuck you might ever hear, in which The Garden seemingly know nothing and everything at once. 

Synth-heavy, bass-heavy, loaded with screams, Kiss My Super Bowl Ring thrives off chaos and unpredictability, shifting from one extreme to another at a moment’s notice. Perhaps the biggest surprise, and a shining example of the duo’s unpredictability, is the extent to which they have incorporated more aspects of electronic music to their already eclectic sound. Littered throughout the track list, most notably “Sneaky Devil” and “Please, Fuck Off”, you can find instances where the song evolves into or simply is based around breakbeats and drum ‘n’ bass. The duo’s willingness to experiment has always been their calling card, and they appear to have mastered it on Kiss My Super Bowl Ring by injecting electronic music into their musical backbone of fiery and chaotic punk.

Injury Reserve at The Foundry

Image from soundcloud.com

By Lukas Da Silva

Injury Reserve played at The Foundry on September 26th and it was a jaw dropping performance. The show started off with the duo “Body Meat,” a group that started as the solo act of Christopher Taylor. He eventually paired up with the drummer named Infinity (named because of his other group “Infinity Dance Complex”) to begin making their post-punk R&B amalgamations. 

This duo really brought their all to the show, creating an atmosphere of unchained imagination and sounds. Taylor was unleashing on the vocals, using autotune to further the crazy energy that he brought with his singing, while Infinity was making some really intricate and unique beats with his electronic drum pads. They blew away everyone in the audience as people looked dumbfounded that you could combine so many different noises and make it sound phenomenal. People looked taken aback by how good of an opening act that Body Meat was.

The second act, “Slauson Malone” was strange to say the least. To describe his music as experimental would be an understatement. The man used barely any lights and used some of the weirdest samples I’ve ever heard. These included flies buzzing and Amazon’s Alexa talking about the end of the world commencing. 

His music contains some of the darkest vocals I’ve heard in a long time and it genuinely scared me at times. 

Then finally, Injury Reserve came on and they brought the house down. The lighting had a chaotic yet controlled feeling that made me think the lighting was its own entity. The beats created by Injury Reserve member, Parker Corey, were so energetic and infectious that it didn’t take long before people were bobbing their heads to the music.

To top it all off, the vocals and flow of both Stepa J. Groggs and Ritchie “With a T” were top notch and filled with intense energy. The group brought so much energy that it didn’t take long before the crowd was moshing and chanting with them.

They had some awesome bangers like “Eeny Meeny Miny Moe”, “Jailbreak The Tesla”, and “Three Man Weave”. By the end of the concert, I felt like I had gone through a very intense workout and was still feeling the rush from it. My body was physically tired from rocking out so hard but mentally, I felt as hyper as ever. I left the concert very satisfied and felt that I had made some memories that would last me a long time. It was easily one of the most energizing shows I had ever experienced. 

 

Electronic artist CVN Drops Emotional New Album “i.c.”

 

Today, Nobuyuki Sakuma (former member of Jesse Ruins) released his second full-length album as CVN. Though it feels like a logical departure from the darting techno doom-scape in Sakuma’s preceding album, Matters, the huge breadth of emotions channeled in i.c. makes for an unpredictable listening experience. Track by track, Sakuma calls for us to rely on our sense of imagination rather than direction, and follow him, unhurried, through the “mutating” cityscapes of Tokyo.

Kicking off i.c. with a pop track, “成分” consists of lullaby-ish melodies and kind, female vocals by NTsKi. It is followed by “Excuse” feat. Cemetery, which builds a sense of tension and curiosity through its steady beat, ambient diffusion of vocal samples, droning strings, nature sounds, and colorful synth blips. The track eventually wriggles free from its forward marching drums, as if to give us a chance to look around at the diverse soundscape that Sakuma has built before moving onwards.

With an ominous chorus and an abundance of industrial whirring, “You Argued for Justice” delivers a dark catharsis to the prior track’s buildup. Though the begin of “Snippets of Heaven” might lead you to believe we’ve reached a glitchy techno destination, it resolves to another moment of sonic reverence. Next, “Local Pain” feat. Le Makeup uses bright guitars to take an unexpectedly upbeat turn, and so it goes. Sakuma purportedly allows his mood to dominate the direction of each track. As a result, i.c. moves between heaviness and zen, while often finding a way to balance the two elements within the same track.

i.c. resembles its predecessor, Matters, through intricate and inventive synthesized sounds, and an untethered, winding, sense of motion. Both albums are experimental in their own right, but i.c. find chaos in moments of stillness, and each track’s organic undercurrent to shine through. Each beat finds a flow that is interesting and rhythmically unique, but not so heady that it requires technical appreciation in order to be enjoyed.

Like walking through Tokyo, there is always something new waiting to be discovered in i.c. Every layer that is peeled back gives us another clue about the place from which Sakuma is sending us his message.  

When he’s not making music, Sakuma works as an editor at the online music magazine, AVYSS, and curates a mix series called Gray Matter Archives. So while the more avant-garde aspects of this album are likely inspired by Japan’s experimental electronic scene, tracks like “Excuse” and “下丘 Kakyu” utilize traditional Japanese instruments and reflect the juxtaposition of hypermodernity and history that exists within Tokyo.

CVN will be performing in Philly on June 19th at Berks Warehouse, along with label-mate Koeosaeme

Stream i.c. by CVN below!

 

A Conversation with a hoodratscumbag

Photo of Pablo Cervantez taken by Emily DeHart

It wasn’t too long ago Beach Goons (made up of Pablo Cervantez, David Orcozo, and Chris Moran) was playing house shows in the “surf punk scene” of San Diego, California and using equipment from the public library. These past few months was only their second tour, despite the large and incredibly engaged crowd. The band has been gaining more and more popularity with the release of their new album hoodratscumbags. Singer and guitarist, Pablo Cervantez, explained from behind his tiny merch table at Theatre of Living Arts, that this album is his “little baby,” and has been working on it for 2 years. He went through the process of writing in his room, in the studio, and wiping out 8 songs before he was ready to release it.

With influences from Balance and Composure, Chalino Sanchez, The Cure, and Marvin Gaye it is obvious how Cervantez’s vast music taste contributes to the perfect creation of a surf punk album.

Cervantez went into depth about how important it was that he includes his Mexican heritage in this album specifically. The listener can quite literally hear this in the several verses he belts out in Spanish (such as in the song A.M.) , an inclusion that is greater on hoodratscumbags than any other album Beach Goons has released before. He explained that growing up in San Diego as a first gen was difficult because of ridicule from greater society. He referred to the area as “the ghetto,” something that he made known he is not ashamed of. Cervantez even recalls being pushed to speak english in public by his parents, fearing that he will be looked down upon for his heritage.

With his background influencing his recent album, Cervantez explained how he is no longer ashamed of his heritage. He is simply proud and he wants his parents to be proud.

After hoodratscumbags was released, Beach Goons had the opportunity to have an Audiotree Live session in Chicago, something Cervantez grew up watching and listening to. The coordinators were very welcoming and the overall experience was amazing. Check out their session on Spotify or Youtube to hear the extremely authentic and vocally dynamic recording.

Cervantez closed in on the interview with some insightful advice for kids growing up in less fortunate areas who are told they cannot accomplish anything:

“It’s all Bull Shit!”

Cervantez recommended a documentary about the area he grew up in called Chicano Park:

Check out a full review of the show here:

https://wkdu.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/swmrs-beach-goons-and-destroy-boys-at-tla/