A Tale of Two Tapes: Krakkbot – “Amateur Of The Year – Crammed With Cock” and Pink Street Boys – “Trash From The Boys”

ladyboytapesThe crew over at Reykjavik’s Lady Boy Records has been at it again, putting out a couple of new tapes over the last few months.  I’d held off buying the Krakkbot release when it came out in April, but when I saw Pink Street Boys was being released this month I figured I’d go ahead and order both, because I really like what Lady Boy is all about.  Their heat-sealed Slugs Þorgeirsboli CD was one of my favorite pick-ups from Iceland Airwaves last year (and one of my favorite albums of 2013 as well), and I also enjoyed the Lady Boy Records 004 compilation, which features an eclectic roster of bands.  They’ve got some cool things going on over there, and all of it is put out in extremely limited copies, so when you see something you want you have to get it right away, at least you do if you want the physical medium.  And I, of course, do.  Because my name is Jeff, and I am a collector (“Hi, Jeff…”).

My tapes were waiting for me in the mail yesterday, though I’d already downloaded both albums as soon as I placed my order.  Today I gave them both a full listen for the first time, so here are some thoughts on each.

Krakkbot – Amateur Of The Year – Crammed With Cock

The laser etched case for this tape is similar to what Lady Boy did with their previous two cassette release, except, you know, with images of cock as part of the design.  The tape, like its predecessors, is a limited edition of 50 and each is hand numbered/etched (mine is #24… so maybe they’ve sold half the run so far?).

The opening track “The New Wave” led me to believe this was going to be some light hearted, chip-tuney electronica, but things quickly took a bit of a dark turn.  “Strictly Ballroom” took on a more drone-y feel, and was followed up by “I Got Love For My Woman,” which starts to take things in a slightly more weird, quietly intense direction.  By time we get to “DzzDzzzDeath” it feels like things are getting kind of creepy, like the suspense building in some kind of horror move that involve bugs.  “Lag #6” makes you think things are going to chill out again, at least until “The Message” lets you know that in fact, no, you’re in creepy town.  It’s the first track featuring vocals, and they’re very robotic and modulated, like a filthy-talking Stephen Hawking with his voice computer starting to lose power.  It stays trippy the rest of the way through and never gives you what you expect, when you expect it.

Pink Street Boys – Trash From The Boys

This is a new direction in packaging, with the tape encased in a cardboard box that actually appears to have been, at least for my copy, part of the packaging for a frozen pizza turned inside out, with the original packaging printing on the inside (0.9g of Salt… 9.5g of Protein…) and the printing for this release on what would have originally been the plain brown cardboard interior.  An interesting design concept, though if they could make it smell like pizza that might be even better.  The tape itself is numbered/etched like the others in the series, and this time I picked up an early one, scoring copy #3.

Trash From The Boys caught me a bit off guard.  I’d only heard the first track before, and it’s a pretty mellow electronica sounding song… which is quite unlike the rest of the cassette and its more psych garage punk in-your-faceness.  Though when I went back and listened to the opener “Up In Air” again, it wasn’t as clean cut as it had sounded before when I played it at a much lower volume.  There was definitely an undercurrent of something that spoke to a certain amount of weirdness, perhaps just a trace of a Butthole Surfers kind of vibe.  That’s followed by “Sleezus,” a good representative of the Pink Street Boys overall sound – raw, rocking, heavy, and a bit sloppy.  “Drullusama” finds the Boys even fuzzier with more static and feedback and reverb, while “Body Language” is recorded so hot and loud it’ll probably make you have to get up to turn down the volume a bit; it’s like a live performance recorded on a boom box and cranked up to 11 (in a good way).

Pink Street Boys have something lo-fi and great going on, channeling Iggy & The Stooges (especially on “Get Away”), Violent Femmes, and the overall trippy fuzztones of the Nuggets records.  That’s not to say they’re derivative, because the Boys are taking it in their own direction, doing things like the previously mentioned “Up In Air” as well as the pure hippy-drippy folk psych number “Psilocybe Semilanceata,” a song that would make me want to put flowers in my hair if I had any (any hair, that is…) and tell you how far out, man, those Pink Street Boys are.

 

All in all I like what Lady Boy Records has going on – their artists cover a wide range of styles, and they put a lot of effort into the design, packaging, and presentation of their releases.  If anyone knows where I can track down the Lady Boy Records 001 comp tape, by all means let me know, because I missed my chance to get it last year when I was in Reykjavik.  I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves next.  If you’re out there reading this, my vote is something on vinyl!

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