SERIOUS PROBLMZ

369 1/2

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS50) CDR $8.00

This obscure ’80s quintet never released anything in their day, and performed live only a couple dozen times. The excerpts from their semi-private recording sessions preserved here (with minimal effort on a boombox) are pensive, quasi–industrial meditations peppered with dire and distorted melodies of immaculate brevity and the musings of disoriented hicks. The unhinged landscapes navigated by Serious Problmz would make Diane Arbus blush -- musical and poetic territories littered with paranoia, dread, desolation, emotional and psychological predation, spookily anthropomorphic farm animals, and objects of inexplicable provenance. As players, guitarist Lucian Tielens, Thor Heglund on Mattel Synsonics drum machine, Felix Mace on vocals, lyrics, homemade noise-makers, and assorted objects, guitarist Mark Evans, and Dave, the inevitable bass-player whose last name no one remembers, achieve a comfortable familiarity with one another, without sacrificing the ramshackle spontaneity essential to their brand of very damaged rural surf (aka rurf). Guests The Whitefronts’ Phil Smoot and Tim Smyth of Bren’t Lewiis help push the primitive jams in new directions with elements such as running water, the clack of a manual typewriter, a telephone ringing, random clangs of a metal canister, and the sinister grinds of an electronic corn-and-callous remover. Edition of 50. Tediumhouse.com mailorders include a bonus three–inch CDR.

SERIOUS PROBLMZ

Nervous Youth

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS38) CDR $8.00

The featured guest on half the tracks on this obscure 1980s quintet’s second BuFMS disc is Cole Marquis (28th Day, The Downsiders, The Snowmen, The Marques), whose guitar playing merges his recognizable elongated twang and loosened psychedelic drawl with Serious Problmz’s industrial rurf (aka very damaged rural surf). The sustainable clang cultivated by Marquis, guitarists Lucian Tielens and Mark Evans, Thor Heglund on Mattel Synsonics drum machine, and Dave, the inevitable bass-player whose last name no one remembers, supports vocalist Felix Mace’s hazy, sun-burned encounters, who recounts in full voice with autobiographical authority episodes from a sketchy drifter’s harsh journey across peculiar landscapes made of salt, through disorienting urban environments, to the middle of somewhere or somewhere else. The apocalyptic tale covers survival techniques such as boosting toilet paper from public restrooms, transporting hitchhikers and potentially lethal alien larvae, avoiding capture by whomever or whatever is pursuing them, and finally mutating into some new kind of disturbed consciousness. Friend, it’ll drop your ass in the dirt.
Order from tediumhouse.com and receive a bonus three-inch CDR with the thirteen-and-a-half-minute track “Lazarescu Follies”