He's A Writer
One Handed Tommy
Oh My Rod Part 2
Running Time: 27 mins
The Imbeciles - The Imbeciles
For a band with minimal social media or Internet presence it was a surprise to find they had over 60K followers on Facebook. In fact so scant is the information, that when you do find a different source you are left with the feeling of déjà vu as the same tracts are regurgitated. This is definitely a band who seem to have made an art of flying under the radar.
Formed in 2018 from the ashes of Wartoad, they decided to rebrand and regroup and move forward under The Imbeciles banner. Part English, part American, the constituent fractions reside in LA, Texas and New York. Using stage names to mask their identities, there is little dirt to dig, despite the gut feeling of there being mounds of the stuff somewhere. Their press releases do little to throw you a bone and reading between the lines seems essential, a rock and roll version of the Davinci Code.
Recorded in just a week at Sonic Ranch on the Texas/Mexico border, eschewing digital technology and committing to analogue recording, this collection of sounds seems almost perfect for the times we currently find ourselves in. In fact it’s release couldn’t be more apposite, with song titles like Panic, D.I.E and Bat. With no track longer than 160 seconds, this is a brutal assault on the senses, from the first bass riff of Panic to the keyboard drone and drums fade out of Paranoia. It’s possibly not the album you want to be locked down in a confined space with, as it’ll seek you out, wherever you are and follow you around, begging to be listened to one more time. Panic sounds like Red Hot Chili Peppers taking on The Gang of Four at arm wrestling and before you know it’s gone with a quick fade.
Many of these tracks end abruptly and in some cases you wonder if you’ve lost part of the song. Stalking Boy seems to end halfway through and then just become another unrelated track evoking Hawkwind at their nosiest before ending suddenly too!
Medicine is them treading in Fugazi’s footsteps but in size 10 hobnail boots. Decider is the nearest they venture towards melodic psyche rock, but again painfully short, almost as if they got bored and just stopped.
What’s refreshing about this album is that it hasn’t been overthought or over produced and I suspect that large parts of it were recorded live.
Perhaps Butch Dante sums it up best when he said “when we play live we go down a rat-hole, a death spiral. We take it to the edge of what people expect to hear. Then someone leans into it, the rhythms change and it resolves back into conventional music”. In which case this recording has nailed it because that is very definitely the essence permeating throughout. 15 tracks that might convince you that you're in The Good Place. Imbeciles? You’d be a fool to ignore them.
For Fans Of: Black Flag, Killdozer, Shellac, Big Black