"Nature Boy"
Pop. 1280

Everything is so chillwaved the fuck out right now that Pop. 1280, feedback fetishists from New York with entry-level taste in gritty noir (Jim Thompson, really? Let’s rename this band The Burnt Orange Heresy and be a little less predictable) and some good songs are passed off as menacing? If these fellas arrived a decade earlier, with this exact sound, then they’d be mentioned in a profile piece on the return of New York garage rock. In 1998, I bought Pussy Galore’s Live In The Red at a Best Buy in suburban Baltimore, and even then, at age 14, I was weary of Jon Spencer’s bachelor’s from Brown. And I can’t be the only one who is put off by every impeccably designed Sacred Bones release, right? All this is really just a way of saying, “wowzers, independent white people music sure has changed in the past 10 or so years!” I’ve changed too though, so it all sounds pretty awesome, especially “Nature Boy.” While so many others are content to make moody gloomy noise rock comfort food, Pop. 1280 have distilled the gnarly skronk of their pigfuck forebearers into a concentrated dose of the cheap strong stuff. When vocalist Chris Bug gargles, “hips to the right, and hips to the left” it’s pure Swans-like violent, ritualizing. And oh yeah, the guitars scrape and crunch and buzz just right, and the drums snap and rattle like a slinky the size of a Dune spiceworm tumbling down a flight of stairs. It helps that Bug sounds very Bob Mould—like a nice enough guy putting on a menacing mask to get through the day without getting fucked with too much.