Various Artists – “Le-Ultra Live Series Vol. One”
(Liquid Electric Recordings 2018, Cassette)
Review by Jerry Kranitz
The Le-Ultra Live Series Vol. One compilation was recorded live on various dates in Columbus, Ohio from 2014-2018. We’ve got contributions from eight bands, there’s zero contact information, it has some of the shittiest bootleg sound quality I’ve ever heard, and I like it so much I’ve listened to it about a half dozen times so far.
Blood Noize is the only band on the comp I was already familiar with. They get the most space with five tracks, featuring their gutbucket brand of raunchy punk-metal punctuated by oddball pulses and tones. This is pretty thrashy but elusively complex stuff, with interesting rhythmic gymnastics and the guitar
engaging in noisy yet sound exploratory fun. Seriously intense stuff. They’ve got several releases available on their Bandcamp page.
The Unholy Two are a standout, with both their contributions cranking out brain crushing, punk-noise- psychedelic rock. On their first song (“OKC1995”) they lay down a minimalist assault on the senses noise rocking groove and color it with screechy wailing acid mind-fucked freakout guitars. And the second
(“Untitled”) track is similar and a good example of seriously art damaged your-brain- on-drugs psychedelia.
American Jobs are one of my favorites of the set, with both their songs characterized by a punk- industrial-goth- jazz flavor. They’ve got a damn good expressive singer and a cool eerie lounge jazz vibe. Check out their Bandcamp page.
Pink Reason is another highlight, playing good old nasty garage punk with bits of the Stooges and dashes of NY Dolls. Lots of fun noisy thrashy psychy rock ‘n’ roll with damn cool guitars across their three songs.
Gamma World has a powerful Joy Division edge on their songs “Something Hidden” and “Detergent Suicide”. “Chemtrails” is similar but adds a fun rocking punk-a-billy feel with an off-kilter dancefloor rhythmic pulse.
Will Foster is two guys exchanging a spoken word rant titled “Judgement Day”. I hear a sax in the background which may or may not be backing these loons.
Giant Claw is another one of my favorites and the most stylistically different artist in the set. It’s the solo project of Columbus based Keith Rankin. His sole track is a very interesting and varied electronic percussion driven workout with lo-fi proggy keys. LOTS of music on his Bandcamp page which I’ll be exploring further.
Torgo’s contribution is a clever finale to this cool compilation. Titled “Excerpt/Decay”, it begins with barely ten seconds of noise-thrash, which may be the end of a song (presumably the “Excerpt”), followed by a fading screech-fest that must be the “Decay”.
I bought this cassette at my favorite local Columbus record store, Lost Weekend Records. Googling the title and Liquid Electric Recordings labeled revealed nothing other than a discogs.com entry. I went back to the store and asked the owner about it and was told the guy (Chuck Fuck) just drops off cassettes from time to time. I bought the last two copies he had so email me if anyone is intrigued and wants to trade.