The ragbag of short, gritty pieces on this tape are a nice contrast to the extended noise collages of Olive’s recent hookup with Jason Kahn. The brevity and focus of the Ramones, compared with the sprawling workouts of King Crimson, perhaps. Yet Frackers-Como crushes a whole lot more variety into its short running time than Joey, Johnny and the boys ever managed (bless ‘em), with wiry clangs, deadpan thumps and real in-yer-face scuzz all competing for market share of your frontal lobes. After all, why hang about? Get something from the junkyard going, and if works, great, if not, well, there’s another one along in a minute.
Brevity definitely is the soul of wit on this one. Props to Olive and Palacio that they’ve held each other in check – after all, when you’re a duo, the temptation is to stretch out a bit and make the most of the space available. But these guys keep it tight, and I’m on it.
There are no titles in this thing, but the third track on side A is pretty special, consisting as it does of a dull metallic tolling, layered with other clings and clangs. Austere and beautiful, it’s the mournful cry of a plague village in the bleak countryside, the church bell warning nearby travellers to steer clear as the carts carry infested bodies to the lime pit. Austere and gloomy, it’s all the more effective for being just a minute and 38 seconds long.
I like all the chunky, rusted sounds on this tape so much I could just sit here and describe the corroded sonics on each track, which would be fun for me but not so great for anyone reading. It’s worth picking a few more highlights, however, such as the sprung noise of A5, its Adam Bohman style fidgets and clonks complemented nicely by a rather melodic distorted electric toothbrush buzz. Up and down it goes, as if auditioning to join the von Trapp family singers. The piece immediately following it is pretty good too, the husky contact mic’d wind dotted with strange whoops, the mating cries of ghost mammals captured by an unwitting field recordist in a nocturnal sound walk.
Side B stretches out a bit more, with two long-ish tracks and a shorter one sandwiched between. B1 is rumbly and linear, a distorted conveyor belt of noise that’s the most familiar-sounding thing on here. But the 11 minutes of B3 are truly righteous and unhinged, with buzzsaw power chords of white noise running down into jagged, headache-inducing drones and feedbacking sine tones, and a blast of good old harshness jump-cutting to an almost pastoral sonic vista of water wheel gurgles and industrious clangs. Just as the mundanity is getting consoling, the duo slather an obnoxious aluminium screech to shatter the peace, washing all this niceness down the drain, where it belongs.