privacy issues

Released 2020 on none
The Seth Man, December 2020ce
from track 01 through 06, the self-named debut from this nyc femme vox post-post-punk duo raises a banner of red flags on modern life that are thought-provoking and succinctly nail it every time with an uncomplicated balance of tension, repetition, and release. with only electric guitar, drums and vocals, liz pelly and pier harrison have smartly fashioned half a dozen resolute musical / lyric statements from sparse arrangements and bared thoughts.

busting out of what was once called ‘l7’ in the era of super freak individuals like rick james and von lmo was easier. everybody in the underground was on the same page because there were fewer pages and they were made of paper. but now, that place has changed boundaries but it’s still that death zone of collective compliance sometimes known nowadays as ‘the matrix’ (from the film of the same name) and it’s a place where, on one level, the concept of being online at all times is underscored. nowadays, said place is where reality is shorthanded as ‘irl,’ language even more so (lol), and virtual reality is a transferable one. the long-term repercussions of these electronic synthesising situations on human nervous systems, brain wiring and neural circuits are still mostly unknown except for one particular 800 pound gorilla: it’s overloaded everyone with too much of everything. except privacy.

released march 13, 2020, this collection of songs have a pink flag (1977) brevity and an equal part pink military (1980) degenerated man resolve to-the-point-edness. with a total running time of 12:12, this cassette addresses an hour’s worth of concerns that everyone should consider. one of which: how much time do you spend on the internet? you may not know but these ladies opine that it is probably too much. and it’s as good a wake up call as any, coming from one of the few groups in the 21st century who are even beginning to address this. it’s directly in front of us, literally and figuratively. the amount of time we you know, hooked up to a computer via the internet and od’ing on information instead of on life itself. way back in the early era of screen obsession via ipod, blackberry and cell phones there was a downtown nyc street artist who pasted drawn portraits of hoodied people with expression vacant, the ever-ubiquitous white wire dangling from their budded head while a handheld screen was held forward like an inverted torch/all day sucker.

their eyes were hollow.

equally hollow are the drums that thud and plod as they slowly proceed behind the quietly probing and highly echoed rhythmic guitar with the self-titled “privacy issues.” the guitar will bend and swoop upwards while the double recitation vocalisations of liz and pier remain at a setting of calm intonation.

interrupted by the frenzied rush and pummeling beat of the magnificent “managed world,” with lyric chanting so rigidly uniform, precise and rapid that it comes close to breaking the spoken language sound barrier. “if you saw reality/you’d scream” they repeat. i did and I have. especially during the middle eight of highly echoed guitar strummed against a thicket of ever-growing, spreading psychic shadows. lurching after the chorus into quietude, the guitar slows down to a rattling surf deconstruction while all else collapses into the speed of beating a dead horse. then back again into the highly charged chorus. “if you saw reality/you’d scream” they repeat. the drums fall away.

“delete” appears in a slow jungle of pulse, soon parting to reveal several quietly shining guitar embellishments that express separate refractions of the same spirit that expunge all surveillance. “delete what deletes the light in me.”

the effervescing “feedback loop” is cut from the same ancient rhythmic primitivism as the velvets, amon düül as well as quite possibly containing shards of those same undulating rhythms and melody from the elevators’ “postures (leave your body behind)” -- only if left to dry and rot in a late night light bath of unattended blue screen of death. excellent, and buoyant as fuck when the phasing kicks in to make everything squelch to hell. best line: “the wires that broke us deflated our focus.”

opening with a fantastically spiky guitar line that swoops in all angles, “hold my breath” pounds what’s left of the hanging conversation into the dirt for one minute thirty seconds until its abrupt end.

at 2 minutes thirty seconds, “quiet room” is one of the longer songs. entering with slinky guitar rhythms and ever-unflustered twin vocals, the constantly building, and ever-buttressing buzz saw guitar of pier harrison combine with the thud drums in a manner that could continue unfettered for seven more minutes and not outstay its welcome for a second. the drums pound out repetitively and solidly between the craggy guitar line and the unforced vocals of women singing truth in unison. your information is yours. get whitfield diffie on it. i’m going for a walk.

“privacy issues” is available on cassette and download. there are a limited amount of 100 c-12 cassettes released, which you can purchase here.