KID SHIRT

Monday, May 30, 2005

AVARUS

Another 7" from Finland, this time by Avarus on Boing Being. Love the cover; it looks like Nosferatu going off for a crap in his outside bog (I've often wondered: do vampires actually shit? Wouldn't all that blood make them constipated?):



Avarus are the older brothers of Maniac's Dream. After Circle, they're probably the next best known Finnish band in, er, my household. I mean, they're practically famous. In fact, they'll be a Mojo front-cover/Mercury Prize-winning coffee-table act soon as The Independent starts describing them as the next Anthony & the Johnsons sometime late summer 2007. Still, this single is ages old, so I'm hardly in a position to criticise...

These 7-inchers remind me of the sort of excitement I felt in the early punk Era; wandering into Acorn or Radio House on a saturday morning, browsing thru the box of new singles, not knowing what was coming next.

"Huri Ja Kaki Ja Karhu Loylyttelee" (apolo-gollogies if I've misspelt that but it's difficult to read the lettering in the fading twilight limbo of Middle Age...) sounds like Terry Riley 29 hours into a non-stop Drone-o-thon, exhausted and dehydrated, searching for the fabled Lost Chord on a broken-down Bontempi Organ while 8 or 9 orphaned children wail atonally. Occasionally a violinist half-heartedly joins in. The bassline of every single record by Crispy Ambulance is played simultaneously on an accoustic guitar, and is accompanied by Micky Finn on bongos. It...it's like a troop of Girl Guides sniffing glue from a crisp-packet and attempting to play "Sister Ray" on childrens' toys. The production is flaaaaaaaaaat; it completely lacks any dynamics whatsoever, so that the sounds bleed into each other, merge and swirl, becoming a solitary, dull, Meta-MonoTone thingy. It's utterly fantastic.

On "Sataa Muuskaa", Jan Anderzen of Kemialliset Ystavat and a handful of other crazies guest-star on Fuck-knows-what. Kettles, probably. This is Eno & The Winkies played at 16rpm: leaden, soporific drums plod along beneath a Frippertronics-style treated guitar that is completely stripped of any interesting or sympathetic harmonics until it resembles a large angry electronic gnat...an electric bass-player is buried somewhere deep in the 'mix', desperately trying to remember a tune by The Butthole Surfers so that he can resurface. Shakers and tinny, overly-treble non-descript percussion hisses and sizzles disproportionately. Some home-made electronics limply fizzle towards the end of the track: they're not working properly, so someone switches them off. This is Methadone Dirge-Muzak: weary-sounding and creepy, produced by Mark E. Smith, who made the musicians all sit in cardboard-boxes so they couldn't see each other while they played.

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