Friday Night Noise: Caddywhompus and Alarmcock

Caddywhompus, "Fun Times at Whiskey Bay": If nothing else, this Houston/New Orleans noise-pop unit is a prime contender/offender for an international "worst name imaginable" contest. Singer/percussionist Sean Hart and singer/guitarist/keyboard player Chris Rehm are certainly more plugged-in than the vast majority of noise-related enterprises, updating their blog with a regularity that puts even pro bloggers to shame.

Some readers may cry foul, here, smacking Friday Night Noise down for championing a genre-confused band in its infancy as a noise outfit. Indeed, Caddywhompus sweeps a fuck of a lot into its tent: catchy-as-swine-flu indie-rock, post-Battles dynamic tantrum-throws, Sonic Youth scree, a touch of hardcore, even the late, lamented KARP in spots - and on some weird level, they remind us of HEALTH, albeit less committed to a single avenue.

Here's the thing: it's impossible, right now, to say where the Caddywhompus boys' muse will lead them, but it's equally impossible to claim that they'll never be the next Lightning Bolt or Hella. Hyperactive stunner "Fun Times," from the pair's eponymnous debut EP, is typically all over the goddamn place: a pummeling gush of melodic flourescence that morphs into frenzied guitar wrangling which parts for a luau-lounge/Beach Boys intermission before slingshooting into gargantuan drumrolls, blistering guitars, and a handful of disparate other rock-trope tricks. (Which they pull off with an effortless aplomb.)

Whew, right? All that in less than four and a half minutes. What sells FNN on this pair as noise? It's the little things, see: the subdermal scraping accents at the edges of that calm middle passage, the quick, nasty blasts of fret-acrimony everywhere, the raw power of Hart's kitwork. Which, hey, Sean? If you aren't listening to Black Pus and Afternoon Penis already, check 'em out: they're great examples of out band drummers in solo mode, making one-guy formidable rackets on the side.

Alarm Cock, "Christian Porno Stars": In his many and sundry musical ventures - group affair Brutal Poodle and solo guises Acidic Jews and Alarm Cock, among others besides - Landers, Calif's Emmy Collins delights in vividly vile acts of obfuscation. His self-released, on-cassette-mostly output teems with Burnt Hills-esque psych-noise hornets' nests, tape-desk sped-up fuckery, and sonic tangles so jumbled, desperate, and rabbit hole-deep that nailing down reference points becomes something of a fool's errand.

A Pleasant-Smelling Noose, Collins' latest dissembling, is cut from the usual tattered, lice-ridden cloth. But in its loopy lucidity, opener "Christian Porno Stars" sticks out. This indelicate cut-up of vocal samples has something to say: President Barack Obama's precise-yet-halting oratory diced and spliced together with a verse reading from Lou Reed's unlikely hit "Walk On The Wild Side."

"I've seen Christians," the president is made to say, "pray for erection." "Christians" is later amended, via subterfuge, to "Christian porno stars," allegedly spotted in "Miami, F-L-A." An ambient hum undergirds these reverbed declarations, as if they were being broadcast on some pirate radio station. Eat your heart out, Negativland!

To order this cassette or inquire about other releases, contact Collins at [email protected].

Got some hot Texas noise tips - or, hell, any noise tips - for me? Hit me up with last.fm links or mp3s at [email protected].

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Ray Cummings