Various Artists - Slack Capital - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Various Artists - Slack Capital

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:7 Release Date:2016-05-21

Slack Capital, a 20-song compilation of the punk music scene in Austin, is a Texas-sized grab-bag of songs. The music is broadly punk, much of it the DIY style that made punk so appealing back in the 70s. If you look at it like a box of chocolates (I fucking hate that movie, btw), consider that I dislike coconut and like caramels.

The sweet caramels: Annabelle Chairlegs 'Cementville', a surf-psychedlic-pop nugget featuring squealing vocals from Yesdnil Nikam. There’s something I dig in Pollen Px’s 'Sand Down the Well', a song apparently about environmental issues, delivered in a lo-fi jangle. 'Kevin McCallister' from Basketball Shorts, a Weezer-esque rocker that pays homage to the Macauley Caulkin character in the “Home Alone” movies. David Israel’s “Coldwar Superchild” is a song with cheesy yet earnest lyrics (hilariously rhyming CIA, NSA, 401-K, USA, Tanqueray, and Guantanamo Bay), over an alt-country backing. “I Don’t Want to Die on I-35” by Dumb is a noisy overload of distorted punk glory; just smart enough to sound sincere yet avoid sounding purely, well, dumb. Milezo’s “C’mon Let’s Get Tribal” is a reverb overload of garage jangle-pop and “Above All” by Critical Dad has a retro early ‘80s L.A. punk vibe. That L.A. sound is also evident on “Lie” by Qué Pasa, reminding me of X’s “My Goodness,” with a rockabilly twang guitar over a slow blues bass with a breathless vocal.

The coconut: “Canibalou” from Party Plants tries too hard to be novel but ends up sounding silly, while “Apollo 11” from Popper Burns is a song that demonstrates that the punk approach isn’t infallible.

Lastly, the mystery chocolates: The band with the most awesome name is Sailor Poon, a band that may have invented their own genre of music called “poonrawk,” a raunchy cacophony of sounds and shrills that sound like The Slits pushed through a B-52s strainer. Their song “Leather Daddy (king kahn mix)” is a raw but oddly amusing psychotic experience.  Any song with the lyrics “Eat me out, buy me shoes, make me cum, and then please leave” is one you gotta hear at least once. Also, the very odd “I Know You” by Cross Record comes close to not even qualifying as a song, but rather a miscellany of studio sounds that have no rhyme or reason. 

There is a lot to like on this sampler and I’d certainly like to hear more from the majority of the artists herein. I’m willing to wager a few of these acts will make it far beyond Austin.




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