Charm School – Year of the Scorpion
Stand-up comedians don’t stop after every joke and explain it to the members of the audience who were a little slow on the throw. The great modern painters of the 20th Century didn’t hold conferences to tell folks just why the heads of their subjects were square and painted in bright green. Being forced to spell things out would just be disrespectful to both the artists and their audience.
The world needs a bit of mystery. And it can come out of art just as well as it can originate out of fanciful conspiracy theories about Big Foot or 9/11. In many ways, the original post-punk musicians were just the kids who wanted to go to art school but couldn’t afford the time or the time or the tuition. Instead, they married Sex Pistols’ level of sonic assault to modernist art techniques.
Charm School’s “Year of the Scorpion” is designed to sound like a teacher having a meltdown while speaking in front of the class. The sound of Charm School will be familiar to fans of 1980s post-punk. It features a pissed-off declamation from the singer and the kind of instrumental pieces that are sketched out more than played and arranged. It’s the rock art gallery, a drift into the abstract and an interesting way to spend four minutes.
IRKED – BACKSTREETS
Genre: Punk, Garage Rock, Alternative Rock
Brand-new technology and untamed rock n’ roll are a little bit like chalk and cheese, judging by the state of modern recordings. Why all you need is to hear the first ten seconds of a metalcore song produced using modern techniques to be lulled into a deep sleep. It’s all rather boring, and very little of it makes you want to jump on the couch or do backflips on the floor.
IRKED sound different. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re a brand new band and that fancy producers looking to assist them in scoring a hit haven’t managed to spoil them yet. Capturing a sound that suggests action is not an easy feat. Capturing righteous anger is just as hard. For those reasons, most “heavy music” these days is bound to fail.
IRKED’s “BACKSTREETS” sounds like an acute sugar rush set to music. It’s a chaotic sound, one that perfectly reflects anxiousness and hope. It’s all beautifully sloppy and glistens with DYI manoeuvres. It’s the kind of sound that might endanger your bedroom’s furniture, the kind of sound that could force you to slam dance on your own.