Hernandez characterizes the Holy Shit!!! Fest as “the best of the ‘new scene’ that seemed to be developing (although it had always been there).”
Here’s a quick run-down of some of the highlights:
Human Eye: From the ashes of punk stalwarts the Clone Defects’ breakup last October rose two really great bands. The first to hit the streets was Eno-inspired rawkers the Valentinos (featuring ex-members of Murder City Wrecks and the Defects). But as of late, a second Defects offshoot, Vulgar’s Human Eye, has been rotating scores of heads. Vulgar calls it alien punk, but there’s something so primitive about it as to suggest the basic blues boogie of the Gories or the Bassholes colliding with Throbbing Gristle or Chrome — earthy but art-damaged.
“Human Eye is more primitive,” agrees Vulgar, who along with keyboardist Johnny Lazar, bass player Tommy Hawk and ex-Bogue drummer Billy Hafer. “It’s a little more basic. That kinda got lost playing in the Clone Defects where I wasn’t as free. I was lost and trapped. I didn’t realize that till Human Eye started.
“It’s way more punk or sicker than the Clone Defects. It’s a little more futuristic. Futuristic like aliens. It’s a lot weirder than Clone Defects cuz Clone Defects is a little more rock ’n’ roll. But punk is rock ’n’ roll, but it’s confusing. I could go on and on about it … like string theory.”
The quartet just finished recording 10 tunes with Ryan Piranha in his basement studio for a fall release on In the Red. And they’ll be laying down more tracks with Hafer on drums (as their previous drummer, notes Vulgar, was jailed for cat burgling A/V equipment from a school).
Tentacle Lizardo: “They are the one band exhibiting enthusiasm for several layers of genre-crunching and manipulating,” raves Hernandez. “They rock out like rockers and they freak out like a Load Records band. They have a dynamic prop-oriented 20 min. show and usually whip the crowd into a frenzy. …”
Human Eye and Tentacle Lizardo appear Saturday, July 3, with We March, Lee Marvin Computer Arm, This Moment in Black History and Sweet J.A.P.
Wildly Different: Featuring Lindsay Karty (who recently retired the Viki moniker under which she had performed for many years) and Kerry Biernott from Tamion 12 Inch, Wildly Different is broken-beat electronics injected with a more-than-healthy dose of frolicsome interchange.
“Wildly Different is an opportunity for [us] to forget about making sense,” says Karty by way of describing the duo’s take on performance. “It’s like someone is looking at us as if we are sharing an inside joke, but there really is no joke — we are just being ‘wildly different.’”
Mammal: Michigan boasts one of the most fertile and long-standing noise scenes in the country, and Dearborn’s Mammal (aka Gary Beauvias) is one of the true standouts. His recent Fogwalker records (Part I & II) on his own Animal Disguise label are expert exercises in dynamic tension, release and overwhelming atmosphere. To get all gushy on yer ass, Mammal’s in a league of his own.
Wildly Different and Mammal perform Sunday, July 4, with Little Claw, Human Caveman, NTX+Electric and White Devil.Chris Handyside is a freelance writer for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]