HOT VICTORY, Self-Titled (Megathon/One Legged Pup)
[DRUM & DRUM] On side A (the "HOT" side) of its new single, Hot Victory stakes its entry into the burgeoning drum & drum genre. Live, it's Portlanders Caitlin Love and Ben Stoller on mirror-image drum kits with a squall of cassette tape noise and broken toy accoutrements. On record, it's often one drum set in a big hall, accompanied by hand drums, buckets, found objects and what sounds a lot like the ambient power-tool smorgasbord of a construction site (most likely found sounds from under the venerable Hawthorne Bridge, near Audiocinema, where this EP was cut). By side B's single long track, "Bungalow," the pair's gone completely prehistoric, with the percussion getting deconstructed even further and the ambient sounds seeming more simian by the moment. But part way through the B-side, things change: The glitchy distortion of processed drums creeps in from silence, only to be doubled by a massive reverbed kit and blissed-out, sub-bass synths. It's a glimpse of just how accessible these skeletons of songs could be—if the artists involved were considering an audience outside of friends and fellow art fags. When making music this purely abstract, and processing it to gorgeous two-tone vinyl, there's no reason to consider anyone else, really.
[PUNKIFIED BLUES] There's no country to be found on the craftily named
(no doubt a reference to the Butthole Surfers' infamous
), but there is plenty of pure, uncut, adrenaline-fueled blues revisionism. The raspy vocals on all these tracks are workmanlike and pushed through vintage mics. The instruments are played and produced perfectly for the sort of high-octane, punk-influenced rock and roll that's PCG's bread and butter. These two men (Patrick "Petey" Foss and Jake Welliver) absolutely wail on the guitar and drums, setting up four toe-tapping numbers and knocking them down in under eight minutes. Side A kicks off with "The Boss," a series of open chords and fast beats the band can't seem to wrap up fast enough. Next up is "Witchtown," a swinging blues guitar line that rides over a shuffling drumbeat, just begging for sweaty dancing and spilt beer. If the first track on side A sounds like Buddy Holly as interpreted by John Waters, then side B kicker "Lady Low" conjures the ghost of Elvis and pumps him full of amphetamines (as if he needed more). The closer is a chunky midtempo rocker called "You Got to Bro Up to Bro Down" (a title that peels back the veil of poster-modernism at work here). This one ends with a bit of noodling and feedback that would make Greg Ginn sneer with approval.
Hot Victory plays Kelly's Olympian on Friday, Aug. 29. Pure Country Gold plays Ash St. Saloon on Thursday, Sept. 4, at MFNW.