13th Sep 2013
Let’s think about nails for a moment.
They are an easily obtainable hardware sundry. They are excellent at holding resistant materials together.
They are also metallic, sharp, and a reet bastard when brought forcibly into contact with our soft, fleshy frames.
On Nails, blistering third track from their forthcoming New Sky EP, the pesky little buggers are just about everywhere for Toronto’s Neon Windbreaker, in (maybe, though I can’t discount the possibility of mondegreens here, so wilfully caked in distortion is the band’s unhinged vocal attack,) their heads/hair, skin, the shit that they live in, so forth. And if that’s the way they feel about things, Neon Windbreaker have chosen just about the most apt form of expression for their malaise; filth-crusted and deranged punk rock, constantly in the red and constantly in danger of falling to bits. First time I heard the band reign in Nails‘ seasick verses to the whip-tight, breakneck groove at the song’s core, I think I did a little smile, because it all sounded a bit Bleach and a lot like they knew exactly what they were doing. It was just a little one, mind.
But nasty as New Sky‘s seven-and-a-bit white-knuckle minutes are, Neon Windbreaker know the value of a good hook (much like countrymen Metz, whose misanthropic, alien amp-howls EP opener Jamesbud takes some cues from), even if the thing’s rusty and dull. New Sky (the longest thing on there, at two minutes and change,) does its best to wrest Mudhoney’s sputtering torch from the grunge titans’ crenellated, grasping fingers, a sludge-sodden soundtrack to that terrifying chase-dream where you just can’t get away fast enough, but this time there’s someone who sounds a lot like Mark Arm groaning “there’s a wall inside my head” over and over and over until the nightmare structure starts to rear up for us, too. It’s great.
And y’know what else is great? No-budget music videos that look like they’ve been filmed on a phone velcro’d sideways to the forehead of an excited Labrador (he calms down later though, sits in the dark watching cars. It’s weird). “So now what ya gonna do?!” yelp the ‘breaker at the close of New Sky‘s parting shot Pink Suit, superheated shards of disembodied guitar twisting and congealing back into iron-hard assault.
The only viable course of action is repeat, repeat, repeat.
New Sky is out on October 28th via We Are Busy Bodies. The ‘breaker (yep, I’m going with this) play Birthdays in Dalston the following day. Miss ’em there, they’re at The Shacklewell on November 1st. They have some Internet presence.