'Closet Full of Clothes' Compilation LP

From Portland, Oregon, USA to Manchester, England with six stops in between, 'Closet Full of Clothes' takes the listener on a sonic trip through the Wendy's drive-thru and into the Earth's core. The harsh, glass-melting blasts of Mammal and Hair Police swelter skulls. The sweet, glorious rock of Pearls and Brass sit you on a country porch. The hectic, shifty-eyed panic rock of My Name is Rar Rar teeters on top of an acidic percussion bath courtesy of Black Eyes. Nice Nice fingerpaint a concerto, while Small Rocks and Doormouse chime like evil Grandfather clocks possessed by Sammy Davis Jr. This closet is constantly throbbing with a wide variety of fabrics and textures, yet all possible outfits always end up looking damn good. This 12" long player features unreleased material from all the performing artists.

There are 5 test pressings, each on black vinyl with hand-written center stickers. All test pressings have clear plastic sleeves with hand-cut and hand-colored stickers. There are 1007 copies of half white / half red vinyl, each with full-color glued jackets. They all come with a photocopied 8.5"x11" insert. 500 copies come with an additional photocopied 8.5"x11" crossword puzzle insert. 50 of the puzzles and 65 of the inserts are on green paper.

01 - Tyrone and Jimmy
02 - Muchachos Gordos
03 - Damp-proofing Dub
04 - I'm Not Living, I'm Just Waiting In Line
05 - Okaygo
06 - I Never Ever
07 - Stun One
08 - Ten
09 - I'm On Steam
10 - Chmura
11 - Second Skin

Closet Full of Clothes is a twisted compilation chock full of no wave reverence and a distinct appreciation for all things left of center. Beginning with My Name Is Rar Rar's distinctive brand of spazz rock pastiche, the compilation continues its frenetic pace with tracks by the Ritalin-starved Black Eyes, the sample-heavy gabba crunch of Doormouse, and the bent folk of Pearls & Brass. Best, though, is Hair Police's "I'm On Steam", a visceral assault of power electronics and punk rock fury. Those lamenting the loss of the great Harry Pussy would be wise to catch up with these Kentucky noise-fiends. Pressed onto very attractive two-color vinyl, Closet Full of Clothes is a promising introduction to a label that will surely be making marks. Cracked loners of the world unite and take over!

More monumentally colored vinyl! The White Denim label does a lot of colored vinyl, and this is actually one-half rosy pink and one-half white! What was I saying about candy? This one looks like an all-day sucker. And, the record comes with a crossword puzzle! Starting things off is Chicago act My Name Is Rar-Rar. At first I'm like "These guys actually remind me of Harry Pussy" but then J. Hischke's utterly retarded synth bass changes that, as do the tortuous prog guitar lines and Small Rocks I've never heard of, but it's electronic, almost dancey spooked X-Files music, actually better than that might make it sound. From the UK, it seems. Pearls and Brass I've heard of a little bit but I don't know much -- they do "I'm Not Living, I'm Just Waiting In Line," and it's weird -- kind of a blues-rocker! Can't say it's my thing, really, but at least someone is just playing roots guitar without it being part of some Wire Magazine and/or Drag City-approved lifestyle. Nice Nice: their debut 7-inch, also on White Denim, got reviewed twice twice last ish . . . here they contribute three songs. Again, they indulge in some 1980s vintage "Downtown NYC avant-funk" stylings, and somehow make it sound better than it should. Black Eyes is next, and I think this is the band on Dischord or whatever . . . maybe you're like me and decided you probably didn't like 'em because they stole their name from the Black Dice / Wolf Eyes collab, but this is my first time hearing 'em and they aren't too bad. Vocalist might be a little too trad screamo but the guitars and drums wreak slow lurching havoc. I probably still won't buy the album. Hair Police you've all heard of . . . they're immediately killer with a weird noisy band-fighting-its-way-out-of-buzzing-sculpture-jail jam -- weird vocals make the track sound like it was mastered at the wrong speed -- and then it just thrashes out for dear life -- long track too, almost like a whole EP . . . Door Mouse are another from the 'I have no idea' file . . . more one-man noisy electronica . . . a lot of samples for that 'moving towards (or away from) Negativland' feel . . . Mammal you've all heard of, his track on here is substantially quieter than the preceding one and it's ill, sounds like some far-away sheet metal storm or Sightings record on crappy car stereo as car drives past on nearby overpass . . . let me go turn it up . . . oh yeah, that's Mammal, brain-firing slam codes as always . . . . . . . . . . Well yeah, real nice 'thrash psychedelia' comp, pretty much worth it for that colored vinyl and the cover art by "E*Rock" alone but practically none of the music disappoints either.

Punk Planet:
A compilation from the label that brought us hardcore's The Ultimate Warriors ("blast beats + wrestling = FUN!"). Somewhat surprisingly, the moshing has been eschewed for an eclectic mix of music equally loud and grating. My Name Is Rar Rar throws on some demented, spastic noise that sounds like evil elves jumping on their instruments with occasional samples of John Williams scores. Small Rocks creates a foundation off of a strong beat that shifts manically between sub-dued ambience and tense chaos. Pearls And Brass is the only conventional band on here, adding a bluesy honky-tonk number. Nice Nice's quirky instrumentals are so idiosyncratic it makes me want to stomp Goombas. In pure Black Eyes tradition, they drown and smother the listener in a sea of choppy, percussive violence and a walloping bass riff. Hair Police overlay avalanche-like textures and build them into sheer noise guaranteed to make ears bleed. Doormouse provides my favorite track, with loopy beats, melodic noise, and tasteful samples. Mammal bring it home with rhythmic, garbled feedback so monotonous you forget that it's over.

Released June 2003


White Denim
PO Box 605
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 USA