As if the daily grind of life couldn't possibly become any more bizarre, a band like Glitter Pals is spawned. Set to redefine the term "dynamic duo," the gruesome two-some recorded a tiny demo, the brand new Unleash The Compassion.
Glitter Pals is the brainchild of two equally deranged individuals; drummer/vocalist Jake is surprisingly insane on tape, but it is guitarist/vocalist Mookie who takes the cake. Also guitaring for Poughkeepsie, New York's electro-synth pop grind maestros Genghis Tron, Mookie brings rampant experimentation to the table. The result is barely nine minutes of counter-culture neural shock; listening to Unleash The Compassion is kind of like hearing the oft-lauded speaker rock of power duos like Death From Above 1979 and Lightning Bolt played at the speed of hypergrind with the vaguely erotic schizophrenia of spazzcore.
Thought short, Compassion is kind of like massive sleep deprivation; it stretches far beyond the time it has taken from a person, as it frequently disorients and distorts rational analysis. In short, it is wholly unique, and will corrupt pretty much any unsuspecting listener.
The disk opens with the campy "Thunder Tights." Only a band this off their collective rockers could make droning hums and twisting post sludge rock sound so fine. Bright and garish, the song is joyously unsettling, and it's this sense of iconoclasm that makes the ensuing chaos so much fun. "Unleash The Compassion" kicks in on a jamming drum beat soon layered under a wall of raw rock. In all seriousness, this gives Lightning Bolt's recent offering, Hypermagic Mountain, a strong run for the money. Jake knocks a surprisingly intense hole or two into his drum set via hyperkinetic flurries, while Mookie grooves with almost absurdly complex riffs given the short window of time he has to lather them on.
"Lovepump's Birthday Song" (a surreal shout-out to their equally abnormal record label perhaps?) starts with rapid, start/stop riffing before a blizzard of sonic fury leads into sugary mania and eventual depression. The glorious "Dig In" is a nod to Genghis Tron's grind influences, as for the next minute and a half Glitter Pals virtually own your soul. Gliding in on wings of ominous lead, the tune builds into a wailing chorus of shining bliss before the best part on the whole demo. Taking the proverbial lead pipe to one's skull, the Glitter Pals next proceed to lay one out with the most stomping riff I've heard in a very long time. Followed by ADHD worthy grind rock, this fist-pumper is the best way to end the night; not knowing what the hell just happened at the party. If this is where the Glitter Pals are going, then sign me up for the journey. Short but sweet, if I could pick two words to sum up the Glitter Pals vibe it would be this; Pixie Stick. Bright, sugary, and unhealthy without moderation, Unleash The Compassion is a blitzkrieg of electric ecstasy. Mixed by Martin Bisi (the man behind both Sonic Youth and Swans, both of whom speak for themselves) and with a live show to support it sounding completely unhinged (Mookie plays wireless guitar with a wireless lapel mic, allowing him to stalk virtually anywhere in the venue rocking out, ala Kong perhaps), Glitter Pals seemed destined for cult stardom.
My one complaint is that the vocals are often so fast, furious, and high on this demo that the guitar often drowns them wholly out. That, and I wouldn't mind around ten more songs. Irregardless, Unleash The Compassion is a roller coaster ride through festive glee, and well worth checking out. Three stars for the music, and four stars for the potential a recording like this has.
1. Thunder Tights
2. Unleash the Compassion
3. Lovepump's Birthday Song
4. Dig In