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Austin Chronicle 7 and 7 is

SEPTEMBER 15, 1997:  Ever had your tone-arm hit nothing but air and then come down on the cold, unfriendly surface of a spindle with no record? That's a sound right up their with screeching cats in heat. Not quite that bad is Eight Frozen Modules' Daydream Nightmare EP on Trance Syndicate. While their own press releases rightfully conclude, "Does the world need another remix 12-inch? The answer is no," it's always interesting to see what Furry Things' mad scientist Ken Gibson has put together. This time, it's the described needle noise book-ending a four-song EP. The lead-off track, "Sand Bubbles," sounds like an outtake from the FT's hedfones release, and is really the best cut here, while the final tune, "White Mud Arrival," is a truly horrific turntable accident. In-between, you get the ambient dub equivalent of putting your ear to a conch -- interesting, but perhaps unnecessary. Interesting and necessary for those who yearn for a real Eighties flashback lunch is the new Big Records split 7-inch featuring The Hamicks' thick, Ian Dury-ish "I Don't Believe in Valentine's Day (not on the group's new Ventriloquist-Conartist full-length), and the Prima Donna's brilliant synth-rush, "Mad-Dog." If only it had a cool sleeve. Frank Kozik says his Man's Ruin label lets the bands put down whatever they want musically, while he has free license with the graphics. Here, then, on the new Daddy Longhead 10-inch, is the perfect meeting of art and commerce, which looks like some long-lost ZZ Top album on the outside and plays like my favorite Sabbath moment since the day I brought my Sabbath Bloody Sabbath record home and played the title cut. Guitarist and singer Jimbo Young is my new hero, and Jeff Pinkus is next on the list (drummer Rey Washam already belongs to the Austin Hall of Fame). To describe what is easily one of my favorite Austin musical moments for '97 is to tell tales of the Dazed and Confused evening wherein I tried hash and Jack Daniels on the same goddamn night. This one's gotten me scrambling for the band's full-length released back in March. Honky's aptly titled Ten Inches, another Jeffrey D. Pinkus 10-inch affair on Man's Ruin, is nearly as good as the Daddy Longhead four-songer, and it's got milky red vinyl going for it. This band is Molly Hatchet/ZZ Top to Longhead's Sabbath, really kicking up dust up with aplomb. The Amazing Whitney Westlake is just what his name exclaims, while Pinkus keeps that muscle of love bass throbbing hard. Raise the Confederate flag, boys. Finally, Austin trio Squdge get points over everyone mentioned herein for putting the motherf*@%&*?# speed of the record on their new three-song single. They also get points for blue vinyl, and only their well-meaning but somewhat generic garage rock/punk aggression detracts from what is otherwise a fine release. -- Raoul Hernandez

Trance Syndicate: PO Box 49771, Austin TX 78765/ejrecords@aol.com; Man's Ruin: 610 22nd Street, Suite 302, San Francisco, CA 94107; Squdge: 3505 Perry Ln., Austin, TX 78751 /mike williamson@mail.utexas.edu.

"7 & 7 Is" reviews all local and national singles. Send to "7 & 7 Is," The Austin Chronicle, PO Box 49066, Austin, TX 78765.

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