When it comes to deluxe packaging, metal & noise bands are hard to beat. Take the mighty Fister’s blood-inked 16 RPM 13″, for example, or that unlabeled noise cassette packaged in an air-sickness bag full of anthrax they’ve got at Apop. Without the muscle to back it up, of course, who cares how cool a record looks? Well, okay, fine. I still do, & you probably do, too, but let’s just say that a cool record makes a cool package even cooler, & vice versa. Simpatico!
Jack Buck’s latest 45 is pressed on clear vinyl & packed in clear, etched, lucite. It’s a solid & formidable wall of a record before you even drop the needle, & the music doesn’t drop the ball. Side A’s Proud Mary (no, not a cover) is a drum heavy rocker that reminded me of a less jazz-inflected Jesus Lizard. The guitar winds around your throat, like it’s trying to pull you close so some guy can yell his manifesto into your face. Side B’s Slave Driven goes moody & ominous, with Slint-ish instrumentation under the moaning & howling.
St Louis/Chicago/who knows who late 90’s noise supergroup Pound Of Flesh also opted for the clear vinyl/clear shell package, slipping in some vellum sheets with genital surgery illustrations, masturbating Casper The Ghost comics, & other stuff to liven it up. What they didn’t do is enclose any information about the record, & my memories have dimmed. Nihilist put it out, so label-head Andy Ortmann is surely twiddling at least a few of those knobs, but is that blurting sax Dave Stone? Probably. Is Jeremy Brantlinger drumming? Maybe. Who’s that screaming? Who’s that pianist trying to hold things together on the first piece? In any event, it’s a well crafted, interesting, dare I say MUSICAL proof that noise isn’t always “noise,” even when it’s confusing. And hey, y’know, it’s cool looking, too.
Jack Buck “Proud Mary”
No Pound Of Flesh music could be found on the internet. The mystery continues…