ISOTOPE SOAP – Monitored By Zu Tze (17 track 12″, played at 45 nonetheless)
Compilation of two EPs and a 12″ EP
Available through Emotional Response Records
I should start by saying that I pick up everything that Emotional Response Records puts out. Jen and Stew, in my opinion, have created a label that doesn’t follow a particular sound but rather a level of creativity and freshness. I blindly order everything they put out. Sometimes it’s hardcore (Lögnhalsmottagningen), or twee (Ginnels), or an incredible comp (Typical Girls Vol 1-4) or even an odd recently discovered tape of some 70s punk bloke doing Beat poetry over a kazoo and a person making animal noises (not joking, I think I have a record like that they put out). The short of it is that they don’t get stuck in a genre so I know what comes inside the package is something that I won’t expect. And, to be clear, I’m not grizzled, grumpy, jaded, etc., I buy new records by new bands almost weekly. However, it does take something unique to pique my ears and this Isotope Soap 12 inch does that perfectly. This record is frightening. It could as easily be aliens on meth or a Scandinavian teenage cult. It pulls on ropes of early Devo and then goes sideways into swirling keyboard mayhem. Everything about this is challenging in all the right ways. I’m continually fascinated with people that can create such oddball amazing things without sounding contrived but rather compelled to create this chaos.
When I put the needle down on side one, I jumped as the frantic pace of disjointed keyboards, and straight ahead fast drums hit me square in the face. Before I could flip the sleeve over to read the name of the song, “Pussy Riding Cowboy Buddhas”, it was over in 39 seconds.
Seventeen songs clocking in at under 22 minutes and ranging in length from 33 seconds to under 3 minutes.
Six songs in, I was just getting used to their structure and direction, I thought I’d figured these guys out and then I’m hit with “Magnetic Abortion of a Black Hole”. I’m terrified once more. The vocals are working some creepy pitch shift machine and by the time the song was over I thought I was in a dark torture movie and was about to be kidnapped.
“The WOW! Signal”, track 9, would have to be the most familiar song but only because I’ve been listening to a lot of Tones on Tail lately and this could be an instrumental B-side on one of their 12 inches. But that is it. Just a 2:48 long song sorta sounds like a dark post punk instrumental band from of the 80s and no other comparison. Oh, also the Feederz. Something about this is Feederz-ish, maybe not so much in sound but for the call to chaos.
The people that are in this band have done a decent job of hiding their identity. I have searched and found that there is a connection with the mid 80s band Raped Teenagers, Pusrad and I’m sure a bunch of others. Here’s the thing, I don’t think they kept their names off it because they are embarrassed. I think they kept their names off of it because they don’t want to be named as a co-conspirator when world starts to crumble.
Hit the link at the top to check it out or just grab one while you still can.
1. Pussy Riding Cowboy Buddhas
2. Frontal Disorder Post Mental Border
4. Fancy Inbred Humans
5. Circle Jerk
6. Magnetic Abortion Of A Black Hole
7. Dad Attack
8. High One Wildlife
9. The Wow! Signal
10. I Saved You From Jesus
11. Reversed Big Bang
12. The Roof
13. Human Invasion
14. Trump Des Willens
15. Pinata Chaos
16. Radiated Head
17. Emdrive Thruster
Justin Dratson: JD Nate Wilson: NW Matt Average: MA