(Northern Spy, 2015)
I’m probably going to throw up. Don’t worry, PC Worship probably did once or twice too, while processing the music that has become the Basement Hysteria EP, out November 13 on Northern Spy Records. Why, you ask? Have I come under some sort of noxious influence that’s going to make me hurl everything that’s in my guts right now? Or have I simply been up too long, holding my knees and rocking back and forth in the throes of sleep deprivation? I don’t know anymore. That light coming through the window is thin and weak, and I can’t even tell if it’s morning or evening. Give it a few minutes, and I’ll tell you if it gets darker or lighter outside.
Yeah, PC Worship did some of that jazz, i.e. the not sleeping thing, while holed up in their basement and rehearsing as a 3-piece for a European tour. The result was four long friggin tunes, sprawling on the metaphorical dirty mattress of the exhausted mind, a mix of “alternative rock” and “improvised fluidity” with a dash of “traditional eastern music” and “derivations of punk & jam bands.” (One-sheet quotes, obvs.) Imagine these four styles as GI Joe action figures, then light them on fire and watch them melt together into a steaming, unholy mass that is actually a lot cooler as combusted slop than it was as four distinct plastic pieces. That’s what PC Worship songs sound like, in toy form! (And don’t tell me you never did that as a kid.)
These jams/not-jams were recorded live to tape, and there were some overdubs, but not many, because shut up if you think these cats need to muck up their sound with overdubs! And by jams/not-jams, I mean they sound like real songs, not stupid old Grateful Dead patchouli-pop nonsense. Nah, this stuff sounds like the grime under the wood stove after not cleaning the basement following several winters, but at J. Mascis’s house, not John Fishman’s. (I mean, Fishman has a vacuum, he flaunts that thing, why doesn’t he use it how it’s meant to be used once in a while?)
Take “My Lens,” for example. It’s thirteen minutes long, and moves from sludge to folk to Sonic Youth territory over all that time. And it ends up sounding like a pretty friggin great rock-n-roll song in my head after I’ve listened to it a couple times. That’s like … a magic trick, I think. Pretend King Buzzo and Sic Alps made a record together, then cooked the tapes in a furnace. Or, pretend the Electric Mayhem decided to switch up their instruments. Animal’s on guitar, obviously. That’s the PC Worship way.
But hey, what do I know. Buy Basement Hysteria, embrace the madness. Then thank me on November 14 (the day after the record comes out – you need to digest it, you know).