DECAYCAST Reviews: STRAIGHT CRIMES “Jams, With Microphone, 2017” (Fine Concepts, 2017)

DECAYCAST Reviews: STRAIGHT CRIMES “Jams, With Microphone, 2017” (Fine Concepts, 2017)


“Jams, With Microphone, 2017”   is the newest sonic offering from bay area punks Straight Crimes.  This cassette is toted under the “punk” category on band camp and other agents of the internet however stretches pretty far past that on this album delving between slow, heavy sludgy cuts where could easily faintly resemble an early Big Black or Butthole Surfers, which thick fuzzed out guitars, monotone style yelped vocals, heavy drum machined percussion, and thick, dense, cavernous spaces of spearing electronics.  The duo doesn’t stick to a particular style on this release bur one of their own, which is refreshing to the ear and psyche.  While it does have  many “punk” qualities to it, composition  wise, things really get stretched and scratched  to the max, such as on the ten minute anthem, “Is This Hell Or Is This Dumb” the vocals  and  meat and potatoes of the  track don’t make an appearance for nearly six minutes as the listener is  left in a murky, dark, disorientation of  jabbed and beaten  guitars, harsh alienating feedback,  high tension  style sound the  alarm  ringing and buzzing as the  listener marches towards a  future of confusion and uncertainty. 0011065181_10


As the song pulses on the listener is even LESS SURE of themselves than they were in the beginning and we all must hope to answer the question by the end of the bass swells that check the situation in the innards and slowly build to a crescendo of chaos.   “Jams With Microphone, 2017”  is absolutely as much of a heavy abstract, even “noise” record than it is a “punk” record as can be much more easily stated for  previous S C releases, though the heavy, pummeling track “In a Free Pile”  is perhaps the album’s most accessible and  straight forward song, while still boasting  thick percussion, a tonal heavy  dirge out guitar, sludgy bass lines and walls of noise  which add sharpness to the overall throbbing beat, perhaps the strongest cut on the album.  Tracks such as “The World Does Not Care About My Art Like Every DAY” show a more abstract and experimental side to the act, with this nearly eleven-minute feedback and vocal based offering, which peaks and swells through various sonic landscapes with the continuity of well executed guitar feedback leading the listener through this dark, murky, sweaty tunnel out to the dejected other side. This is a really refreshing release overall, and look forward to hearing more of this band, and everything else via their imprint, FINE CONCEPTS, longtime Oakland stalwarts.


OPPONENTS “Psychosexual Spiritual” C38 (Out Of Body Records, 2013)

OPPONENTS  “Psychosexual Spiritual” c38 (Out Of Body Records, 2013)


Opponents blends together gnarly, fucked up EBM, tranced out industrial jams through an all analog electronic signal path. The tape starts out with a hypnotic, rhythmic track supplemented with decayed beats, monotone chanting vocals. and synthesizer stabs. As the tape moves on , it progresses and subtly shifts yet, it’s more of the same dark, stabby , industrial synth bangers. The beats and vocals work in a wonderful, syncopated harmony together creating a grey wailing of synth chatter and decayed delayed heavy beats. Washed out  walls of psychedelia ebb and  flow in the background as the hard  hitting decayed drum machine and rattling  synthesizers carry the  movements forward, and down into the ground of  psychosis. The metronome of hell is locked in as OPPONENTS blast through a number of focused yet “experimental” industrial / EBM style harsh rhythmic tracks. This cassette has the perfect mix of primitive industrial styling and modern audio trickery creating a bleak and unique mix of harsh, yet detailed compositions. There is a definite tension within the release itself – at times it seems to want to escape itself and blast out into a full on harsh noise assault and other times falling back to early SPK area “primitive” EBM / industrial  and  furthermore into dark ambient sound scapes. Opponents uses an all analog  signal path to generate some  truly dismal, murky, yet on point electronic/industrial compositions.  The rhythmic tracks stand out a bit more overall to me  personally, but none of OPPONENTS music, even the stripped down ambient sections  seems styled or contrived “filler”,  but rather starkly intentional and dynamic, a hard mix to  find in this particular  genre  these days where projects do “industrial” for  industrial’s sake. none of that here folks. this is RAWWWW.

A great tape , HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Will be looking for anything else I can find from this project.



decayREVIEWS: COMPACTOR “Desensitization Reprocessing” CS (OOBR, 2012)

COMPACTOR “Desensitization Reprocessing” CS (OOBR, 2012)


COMPACTOR “Desensitization Reprocessing” CS (OOBR, 2012)RIGHT FROM THE FIRST PUNCH – Compactor squishes fuzzed and thizzed big beats – spastic churning,hissing machines – phasing out of value the automaton human rhythm production facility – this is beat dominant- off the bat with grind core styled sequence percussion with looping scraping drowning and pulling robots dragging each other through the background of the soundscape – nice track breaks give breath to separate ventures to a at times minimal
Techno jukebox gone awry with subtle layers of hissing and hawing in the distance – creeping closer and then back into the unknown . …..

The B SIDE gives a bit more breath as it moves at a slower pace to give pulsing developing beats time to build the structure before they inherently self destruct. A drone fly peeps at your cochlear as this tape often sounds like a sound tropes trapped inside another sound trapped inside another – with different layers of pulsing fuzz that ebb and flow giving clarity to the beat and then swelling it back into obscurity.  Compactor sandwiches a nice mix of  harsh blown out  recording techniques which  give a live  feel, and  some cutting  and  chopping  which speak t0 a  larger compositional mantra, This tape is a brain/ sound compactor in itself – somewhere broken between noise / electronic death drums and bass stabs of shaking resonance :: compactor brings a complete sonic package of the rolling down the road of percussion on fast fwd style – whatever that is- ??? But the second half of the second side slowly shifts into a distant hum – you are trapped inside the chickens stomach after it crossed the road- subtle bleeps, slips, and rakes are quietly eclipsed by an ominous dark droning buzzing – the best part ! A great end to a good tape!!!

Out Of  Body Records