Regular readers will know that Brooklyn’s Sacred Bones imprint is one of our favourite labels, so every time one of their lovingly curated new releases arrives in the Foam Hands inbox is cause for celebration; break out the party poppers, then, as August is set to be their busiest month for a while now, with three brand new artist albums including the label debut from the latest addition to the roster.
First up, everyone’s favourite scuzz-punk curmudgeons Pop. 1280 are back, trawling the sewer systems of some near-future urban dystopia again on their second long-player Imps Of Perversion, out August 6 and available to stream now via Pitchfork Advance. Recorded with Sonic Youth/ Swans producer Martin Bisi, the follow-up to 201?’s The Horror is more of a straightforward avant-rock record – by which we mean it sounds more like Sonic Youth and Swans (and the Birthday Party and the Jesus Lizard…), so not really straightforward at all – but there are still traces of the cheap Suicide synths that propelled that album and its preceding EP The Grid, droning away behind squalling guitars and low-end grind, bludgeoning industrial rhythms and Chris Bug’s bellowed tales of lust and debauchery. Uglier than ever and better for it, this is a band as tight and as muscular as a well-trained sphincter; listen to “Human Probe” below.
The new Zola Jesus album, Versions (out August 20), was born out of a live collaboration between the artist and experimental industrial pioneer JG Thirlwell (AKA Foetus) at New York’s Guggenheim museum last year: offered the opportunity to play at such a prestigious venue, Nika Roza Danilova decided to hand her songs over to experienced symphonic composer/ arranger Thirlwell to re-imagine them as suitably grand pieces for voice, percussion and strings. Here a selection from Danilova’s back catalogue – songs from 2010’s Stridulum II and 2011’s Connatus, plus one new track – are largely stripped of their electronic sheen and given a chamber-pop studio makeover assited by Thirlwell and the Mivos Quartet, and the results are bewitching, highlighting the delicate, elegant undercurrents in the singer’s usually powerhouse gothic techno-pop. Check out “Avalanche (Slow)”.
Also coming August 20 is the first release for Sacred Bones by Arizona heavy psych crew Destruction Unit. Hot on the heels of their Void LP for Jolly Dream, the aptly-titled Deep Trip – produced by Ben Greenberg of longtime champions The Men – presents eight reverb-drenched burners that sound like a bunch of Grateful Dead records were soaked in acid, buried in the desert, left to bake for twenty years, dug up by speed-freak Motorhead-loving punks and recreated during some weed-fuelled jam session. “The World On Drugs” may sound like a scary place, but it’s not; it’s actually the album’s opening track and it is a very good thing indeed, as you can hear for yourself below.