SKiN GRAFT Records started as a comic (SKiN GRAFT COMiX #1, came out in 1986), and the label grew out of being asked to draw 7” single sleeves; although Editor In Chief Mark Fischer prefers to say “SKiN GRAFT is a comic book company that puts out records”.
Sounds to make you shudder! is their 150th release, a 15-track compilation of new and exclusive tracks which encompass songs on the Beefheart spectrum, punk-jazz, coffee-jitter blues, swamp-trance, skin-crawling electronics, and noise-wave; all cobwebbed-up ready to soundtrack your Hallowe’en.
All the contributions on this album have so much to recommend them, and if you lean to the leftfield in your musical taste then this will be a dopamine club night for your brain. However, to spare you a review that would take several days to read, I have picked out the songs that piqued my interest and included the press release at the bottom which lists all of the bands along with a mini-write up of each.
USA Nails – ‘Horror Show’. A sledgehammer of a track as you might expect from USA Nails which rightly asserts that “this world is the real horror show”. Drums pound so hard they could release shale gas and the whole track is a masterclass in how to keep the instrumentation on just the right side of chaos.
Lovely Little Girls – ‘Procreation (Of The Wicked)’. The lush wonkiness of Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits with menacing brass clashing with discordant guitar and some fine vocals that slide between monotone harmonies and the histrionic. Like a jazz marching band tumbling down a cliff.
Tijuana Hercules – ‘Long Slide’. Tijuana Hercules are no strangers to the digital pages of Joyzine where we have already premiered the video for ‘Chilanta’ and reviewed the album Mudslod and the Singles. They mix up blues and psych in a cocktail they call ‘Hillbilly Trance’, and ‘Long Slide’ is rhythmic canter of rolling drums and staccato guitar held together with caramel sax and a vocal line that sounds like a Louisiana version of Vincent Price in ‘Thriller’.
Cuntroaches – ‘Borborygmus’. Berlin’s Cuntroaches sound like they have recorded a category 5 hurricane raging in the Devil’s anus. The press release says it’s a ‘black metal bombast’ and, though it would be hard for ears looking for a tune or familiar song structure to grip onto, ‘Borborygmus’ has a monstrous beauty in its sonic bravado. Fun fact: ‘borborygmus’ is the rumbling, gurgling noise made by the movement of fluid and gas in the intestines (See video below)
Upright Forms – ‘They Kept On Living’. A full-on garage rocker that has the distortion of bass and guitars in lockstep with the drums. It speeds up and slows down and has swirls of organ draped around a huge anthemic chorus. After one listen, I could feel the sweat sticking my clothes to me and could smell the spilled beer on the floor of a tiny basement dive bar.
Songs to Make You Shudder! is for any avant-gardener who’s planning a graveyard picnic or has to work late in the lab. It’s a collection of songs to make any modern monster-fan happy and could make Frankenstein Frug, Dracula Duckwalk, the Mummy do the Madison and the Wolfman Watusi (other monsters are available).
The album is available in a variety of different versions from download to cassette and CD from the SKiN GRAFT Bandcamp page.
Artist socials: David Yow and Yowie | USA Nails | Lovely Little Girls | Terms | Tijuana Hercules | Pili Coït | Psychic Graveyard and John Dwyer | Jim O’Rourke | Cuntroaches | Strangulated Beatoffs | Bobby Conn and Superband | The Flying Luttenbachers | Azita
Review by Paul F Cook
SKiN Graft press release