Bits Of Shit
13 Track, LP (2012, Homeless)
Related: Bits Of Shit.
Forget the pedigree, histories and self-mythology around the Bits of Shit Music Club – or BOSMC, as they prefer to be known – with the patches and list of club rules and all. That stuff is of passing interest, but none of it is as important as what is (preferably) booming loudly through your speakers here. I spent a few Saturday afternoons last July transfixed by these guys during their Tote residency. There were five Saturdays in the month and I saw four of the shows.
Forget any ideas of coolness or irony: this is not being played tongue-in-cheek. This debut album does a great job of capturing their dizzying propulsive energy. It tickles similar hard-rock brain receptors as, say, The Dacios’ Monkey's Blood or Deaf Wish’s Reality & Visions did in the recent past.
About 20 seconds in, instrumental opener ‘F’ sets the ground rules when it locks into a solid groove with Andy Lang spraying tight, noisy chords all over the shop. ‘Rock Sing’ features buzzing guitars that sound like a wall of flies a couple of metres thick, while the harsh, repetitive riff of ‘Traps’ is a lurching monster that may make you feel seasick. Singer Danny Vanderpol sounds like the class clown after a few drinks: clever and needling, a sarcastic little shit who brings an exaggerated effect to a lot of the lines. Listen to him squawk at the start of ‘Patrol’.
But as with Total Control, some people insist on missing the point and blunting the overall effect of the music by worrying too much about where it has come from, trying to isolate specific influences. That's a waste of time. Sure you can hear echoes of some old-school L.A. punk, but on this album the Bits have come up with something more than just the sum of its parts. However, for the sake of people who have to classify everything, I can confirm that on strictly objective measures, with 13 songs clocking in at 32-and-a-half minutes, Cut Sleeves slots neatly between Black Flag's Damaged (15 songs in 34.58) and Suicidal Tendencies' 1983 self-titled debut (12 tracks in 28.17).
The first release on new Melbourne label Homeless, this album is limited to a mere 500 copies, although it comes with a download and some very snazzy artwork courtesy of Rona Green. The band are taking a stack of them over to the U.S. on their upcoming tour in September, so you'd be well advised to get in early.
by Trevor Block