The Songs We Can't Escape

Victoria Jacob

"Afterthoughts & TV"

Just in case you'd been wondering what Quinn Walker does with his time these days, here he is: cutting bro-harmonized, shambolic country-rawk freak-outs with a new band that isn't named Blitzen Trapper. Indie-rock single of the year thus far? Very, very probably.

"Alcoholics Unanimous"

Whether or not this daffy Brit-Kraut concern really needed to continue to exist after making a debut is an open question, but I'm glad they're still kicking and still deadpan. This new single follows the usual "look at me, I'm doing X" SOP, only it's about the morning after a violently soused night out.


The convulsing synths sound like they're buzzing and throbbing beneath a half-foot of cooling magma as frontman Kenny Tompkins spins the sort of narrative that's more significant for what it evokes than for what it's actually saying, per se. Message: Loneliness will crush you, if you let it.


Hey, remember all those fuck-you electronic acts from the '90s—like Front 242 and Lords of Acid, say—who'd whip up a jackhammering guitar riff, gussy it up in spliced beats and impudent synths, then tip the spear with swiped hoary vocal samples? Wasn't that dope? Grauwelt's trying to bring that shit back, and hopefully the disaffected high school loner population's large enough to make it profitable for him.

"Bite Your Tongue"

Members of various noise units come together for a session that resembles a huge traffic jam that begins unruly then gets improv insane when the drivers realize that A) they're all musicians, and B) they've got instruments in tow. Horns whinny, fart, hiccup, pick off news copters like frogs zapping flies; a violin squeaks in protest; percussionists mime teletype machines and avalanches. Just for good measure, somebody slams the bejesus out of a kennel door.

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