A Tradition of Destroying the LA Times Building (CDR) 2004 - self released
Split w/ Blue Silk Sutures (7") 2005 - Kill Shaman
Pasado de Verga (CASS) 2005 - Not Not Fun
Art School, No Bleed (CDR) 2005 - self released
Silver Daggers (7") 2005 - Not Not Fun
Split w/ Death Sentence: Panda! (7") 2006 - Not Not Fun
Split w/ Child Pornography (CASS) 2006 - JK Tapes
New High & Ord (LP/CD) 2007 - Load
Split w/ Shearing Pinx (7") 2007 - Arbor
Current mood:sore!!!HELLO THERE!!! JUST WRITING TO LET YOU KNOW THAT OUR NEW ALBUM IS NOW OUT ON VINYL!!!! !!! !! !
if that's not exciting to you then i think you can get a used copy of the CD on amazon for like under $6 postage paid. no joke. or you could get one from us at the smell not tonight, but a week from tonight, june 15th!
and if you <3 vinyl like we do then go to your local record boutique and snag one. or if you live in high internet zone then click on LOAD RECORDS internet page for "a fucking online transaction".
now here are one funny short review and one funny long review of the record, in case you haven't heard it:
The sax usage here is almost like a cruel joke. As if this young LA band doesn't have enough twisted firepower that injects this set with jagged fury and whimsy, along comes the saxophone to push the tracks over the top into true mind assault. Think of what would happen if Big Black tried to play ska, and you have this record's effect in mind going in. It only gets more hairy once you start listening. The jittery, stuttering magic of "Untame," "the five food groups" and others reminds me of Gang of Four, or the Fall, only cranked and unhinged. My guess is that even these tracks are merely a template for what they do live. Get out and see 'em, but remember to duck and cover.
Los Angeles hipsters Silver Daggers are one of those "so weird it's cool" underground acts that will probably have that constant if surprising amount of hype behind them. As I listen to this, their LOAD Records debut, it becomes apparent to me that there is something very "cult fave" about a record like New High & Ord. All the makings are there for hipster success---the cheeky, iconoclast song titles, purposely awkward instrumental pairings, pretentious disregard for trends/scenes/subcultures, and colorful, obnoxious artwork. Once having established these interesting little basics, LOAD's press release proceeds to uncharacteristically heap praise on the disc, offer interviews (!) and mention their "thunderous reception" on the LOAD SXSW Festival showcase earlier this year. As a frequent critic of LOAD's output, all of the above seems unusual for such a devil-may-care label. In fact, the last time they did something like this....
The last time LOAD did something like this we got Lightning Bolt. Yep folks, Lightning Bolt---that eclectic and hyperactive two-piece whom many have hailed as the underground insulin shot to the diabetic corpse of rock 'n roll's manic fury. As I digest New High & Ord multiple times, I cannot help but notice the similarities the two acts share; a dangerous, confrontational record production, the gripping and manic cover-art, the "redefined rock" shtick. As if the hipster tie-ins weren't already enough, Mika Miko larynx lacerator Jenna Thornhill shows up on a couple tracks, her banshee wail making things even more counter-culture.
And therein lays the problem with New High & Ord. As much as it struggles for a unique identity with all its rambling saxophones and slithering, angular guitars, at the end of the day this band sounds like a thousand others. Try as they might, all the ass-wiggling energy and flute vocals in the world can't make a band unique. Armed with naught but a formula of energetic chaos trapped in a web of (usually) conventional song-structures, New High & Ord falls into a lovely trap where heaps of crazed energy are meant to equate legitimate passion. As nice as this approach sounds on paper, it largely fails here as it has on various other records before. The issue lies in a lack of variety; Silver Daggers goes full-throttle through this surreal carnival maze of messy groove rock, and the end result blurs like a puddle of neon-colored vomit. Said vomit is always bright and flashy, but for the most part the majority is muddled, with few pieces of clarity or coherence clumping together in the regurgitated stew.
Said moments are few and far between, yet still worth mentioning. "New High & Ord" is not only the title track, but a coke-binge garage rocker with smooth guitar layering and buzzing saxophone menace in the background. A descent into realms of goofy guitar scrapes and ambling rhythm chaos works wonders too, and this is a good piece near the album's start. After wading through some bland and unremarkable filler with all the weight of a sugar binge, one gets the subtle "Faithful Unlawful." Kicking in off a smoke-tailed saxophone, the soon-to-be-sultry "Faithful" eventually explodes into an abnormal swing dance of sonic rumbles. The drum wizardry on follow-up "Governkkk" makes it worth mentioning, but the schizoid arrangements kind of hold it back ever so slightly as all the instruments don't sound very coherent or sensible all the time. "Burn the World" is just that, a pyrotechnic sparkler that fizzles into oblivion patiently, shooting up burst of flame after burst of flame. The rhythmic intensity of "Joy" sounds vaguely like a lost Mars Volta mix, or it does until the distinctive vocals kick in. "Run to Fear" is notable only for being the disc's end; as far as songs go, it is a short and vibrant burst of color without serious shape or form. Being pretty light on the senses and generally lacking weight, the song is mildly anticlimactic to end a CD on, and just kind of happens. Besides the songs mentioned above, nothing really stood out to me, all the songs sending like the sort of sugary, garbled rock that is becoming increasingly popular amongst the new-rock youth of America.
As a result, I anticipate mixed reactions to a CD like New High & Ord. Musically, there is little wrong with it besides the overdoing of certain traits. Yes, some of the songs border on being too manic, crazed, or hyperactive, but that is less a fault of the traits and more a fault of the band neglecting to make certain passages stick out a bit more in the overall scheme of the CD. Personally speaking, I find the high-pitched sing-song vocals used in bands like this to be both insipid and obnoxious, but that is just me---in some perverse way its childish ADD works with the music itself, so to each his own I guess. The production is clear, the good songs are really good, and as for the filler, well it least it has some energy to it. That has to count for something right? New High & Ord is a mixed bag, but for those seeking a fun pixie stick rock album this might be your sugar buzz.
THAT WAS FUN WASN'T IT?! WELL IF YOU ARE STILL READING, THEN YOU SHOULD GO TO THE NEW BOUTIQUE OPENING TONIGHT IN CHINATOWN (IF YOU'RE INTO THAT SORT OF THING) IT'S RIGHT NEAR THE CORNER OF NEW HIGH & ORD!!! THE SHOP IS EVEN CALLED "NEW HIGH." AND THERE ARE AT LEAST 3 OTHER GALLERY OPENINGS IN CHINATOWN TONIGHT. SO WHILE YOU'RE THERE STOP BY OOGA BOOGA & CHILL OUT FOR A SEC CUZ YOU DESERVE IT! STAY UP! K.I.T. C U LATER SK8R !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
as i have long been released from jail and back in the habbit of attending shows at the echo i suppose an update on my situation there is in order. just to recap, last summer at fuck yeah fest i was assulted, handcuffed, dragged into a back room and pinned onto the floor by several echo security staff before being held against my will and arrested on false charges of battery. i was then locked up for three days awaiting a court hearing where my battery charge was dropped and i was released with a bullshit charge of "obstructing the flow of business," which is something i do all the time anyway. one condition of my release being that i stay outside of 100 yards from the echo for a period of one year. i didn't bother to tell the judge that i live about a hundred yards from the echo and i pass by there nearly every day.
the first time i actually went back inside was just a few months after the incident when i was putting up posters for a show. the particular security gaurd who instigated the whole scenario was working that night and saw me just as i finished putting up the poster. i heard the club manager say to him, "isn't that the guy..." then i took off on my bike which i had left unlocked outside in anticipation of being spotted. more recently i noticed that they had remodeled the front entrance of the club and hired all new security staff. we also found out that the manager had been replaced. although you can't be sure, these points would lead one to believe that a much needed security staff policy change also occured. for those who never attended the echo prior to last summer they always had a reputation for hiring asshole security guards who seemed to be looking for fights with proud locals, frail hipsters and harmless punks.
to sum things up, our friends michael and ben had been asking us to come back to the echo to play at their part time punks night again for some time. we kept refusing on the basis that it was an unsafe venue. but after the good news was confirmed that all the people involved in my arrest had been fired, we decided to accept and have our record release party / u.s. tour farewell show there. we played with no age, all of our friends came out and it was one of the warmest shows. even a bit of stage diving went down unhindered by the comfortable security on staff.