Immediacy and urgency are tools that either limit DIY endeavors or propel them. The crazed compulsion to capture what you’re creating and to show other people what you’re capable of is vital, even just for the self realization. You have a choice (lol - no you fucking don’t) put out a single? $2000 or find someone bold enough that loves your shit that is willing to take a chance. You could Put something on bandcamp. $0 but that can’t be all you really want, can it? Thrusting your blood, tears and hard work into the ether? Subjected to algorithms, luck and social media savviness to get glossed over while people look for the new Spiritualized torrent. Enter - the cassette tape - the antidote to all of this. The true physical format resurgence. The cassette tape has managed to fill the void for bands with zero budget to produce the physical material for years. Another feather in the cap for DIY communities. And seeing how universally hated it is by people that had to grow up when this was the main format for new music make it perfect for widening the generation gap and keeping things available for new artists to stay relevant and cheaply reproduce/distribute their music. Electronic music knew this for years. Hip hop knew this for years. Punks knew this for years. Hail the cassette tape. I’ve long been without room on my shelves for them and the boxes keep filling up. As long as people keep dropping me killer music wrapped in newspaper off at the desk of Neptoon Records these boxes will be expanding at a rate my closet will not keep up with.
Bedwetters Anonymous handed me a cassette tape of their latest offering, 12 short songs with a seemingly MS-Paint created J-card for artwork. Aesthetically similar to the very missed Industrial Priest Overcoats and including members of the same along with members from Puzzlehead and Tough Customer. BA have toned down the weirdness of Industrial Priests which make for an easier listen but just as vital and urgent. It’s more focused and direct but still plays with the mania and desperation found in their earlier work just not as experimental. Warbly vocals sometimes convincing me of a youthful Adam Ant sit on top of lost Alternative TV compositions reworked in the garages of misspent youth in America. Speed, rejection and frustration is rarely put to better use. These are the people that grew up with cheap home recording technology, pirated it enth times over and came up with their own rules as to what punk rock was. Half the time the tracks sound fully composed. Other times it’s more or less snippets of riffs laced together that when completely rendered into songs become jaw-droppingly good. The three minute and fifteen seconds that make up ‘Absolute Panic’ and ‘Poverty Porn’ should be taking up the A-side of Vancouver’s best 2019 7”. The latter - ‘Poverty Porn’ , is the stand-out track with the intro guitar hook setting you up for a two-minute, guided tour through the infamous Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Now you can leave the camera at home and not become mugger-bait when you snap ‘journalism photos’ of poor people. You don’t have to remark “It’s a free country maaaaan” when someone calls you a motherfucker, motherfucker. Bedwetters cut through the piss and deliver the disgust with teeth all the while maintaining seriously catchy playing and smart songwriting. The next step is vinyl but with music this good, I’d hate to see what gets left on the cutting room floor. They left the codified, punk rock leather in the closet and found acid in the gutters. Thank Shiva.
Check out the video for ‘Absolute Panic’ here. Produced by the band.
Photograph by Jasper (Your purveyor of Local, Organic Hardcore T-Shirts)
Bedwetters Anonymous are playing with Pandemix (Boston), Material and Nic Fit on February 24th at CBDB’s. Ask a punk.