Download: Pop. 1280, "Step Into the Grid"
Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.
After last year's itchy (and shockingly prescient) Bedbugs 7", the scum-scraping bloody-booger-wipes in nu-pigfuckers Pop. 1280 have returned with their first 12", The Grid EP. Holing up in producer Ben Greenberg's Python Patrol studio, the band aimed for something gnarlier, meaner, uglier, more blown-out, pushing aside their clanky-clonky Birthday Party lurch to reveal the horrific marks where fingernails meet fresh flesh--think early Swans, Pussy Galore, or a mouth full of worms. The 12" is also their first release for tastemaking Brooklyn label Sacred Bones, who will be dropping it on October 26, a thorny chaser for their usual art-wooze of Zola Jesus and Gary War. Opener "Step Into The Grid" pulls no bloody-knuckled punches, with drummer Andrew S. literally hammering a piece of scrap metal for their cymbal sound. It's a decidedly noir, decidedly New York guttergazer about masturbators and shit-surfers where every alley is dark and every streetlight is blown.
What is "Step Into The Grid" about?
Chris Bug, vocalist: This song is a bunch of scenes that are based on the characters that live in The Grid. As the title suggests, the song serves as a window into The Grid and a welcoming taste of the shit you're going to have to endure when you enter the reality we are pushing. Ivan Lip, guitarist: The Grid is also a state of mind, and we stepped into it a long time ago. I'm in it right now. Bug: Once we came up with the concept of The Grid as this rotten, dystopian future-world, we began to delve into the specifics of what you are going to encounter in The Grid. But a lot of the lines in this song are inspired by reality. Like, I really did see a guy masturbating on a bridge. And I really did see some guys dredging a canal of human shit.
What inspired it musically?
Lip: I was drunk and thought that I had written a song by just looping one synth riff for four minutes. I sent that to Chris. I don't think there was much planning.
What can you tell me about the recording session for this song?
Lip: It was recorded at Python Patrol in Brooklyn, which is in the basement of an old Catholic School. It has all these empty rooms that have insane reverb and you can throw shit in them and whatever. We drank rum. The siren thing on the pre-chorus actually took a lot of time to figure out. We had to explain it to Ben twenty times and eventually he showed us how to get the sound we wanted out of our synth.
How did you approach this 12" differently than the 7" from last year?
Lip: We wanted it to sound a bit more gritty or noisy, I guess? I think the seven inch is good, but it's a bit too clean and doesn't in any way capture what we do live. Working with Ben is also nice because you'll go out to get coffee and come back and he'll have put weird echo on things. He gets what we want to do.
How did you guys get hooked up with Sacred Bones?
Bug: Heaven sent them to us. Lip: A black limo was parked in front of our practice space one night. A window rolled down and some guy told us to get in. I don't remember much after that. There were pain trials. I remember bamboo rods and a weird basement. I dunno.
What do you think Sacred Bones represents for indie music in 2010?
Bug: Cold hard cash.
Pop. 1280 play Bard College on October 24 with Sediment Club.
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