Download: Unstoppable Death Machines, "Slumlord"
Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.
The two sweat-drenched, fang-baring young men in Unstoppable Death Machines come soaring in from the bass/drums/aggroglop tradition of Lightning Bolt and Japanther, but seem to care less about holding scene kid cuddle parties and more about slamming brews and drawing blood. Says drummer Billy, "The original, underlying concept of Unstoppable Death Machines was to be a space jam noise odyssey, infected with punk rock, rage, weed, beer, and more noise." In that sense, their debut 7" is a rousing success--four blown-out, bass-chuggin' fuckitalls in seven damaging minutes (sample song titles: "Quit Your Whining And Shut Up," "Head Trauma") all etched to nasty little clear vinyl shard. The 7" was recorded to two-inch tape in two days, and compiles four of the nine songs they played live with no overdubs, fueled (by their account) by lots of coffee and one giant joint. "Slumlord" is about exactly what you think it's about. Subsequently it taps into a very New York sense of bloodlust and disgust--like an Unsane record filtered through 10 years of post-Brooklyn Technicolor fun.
What is "Slumlord" about?
Billy, drummer: Beware of Craigslist! Mike, bassist: "Slumlord" is about this big, bald-headed, rat-faced piece of shit con artist in Bushwick. He robbed Billy and I of basically all of our money by swindling a deal on a giant space perfect to live, practice, record and throw shows. But he ran off with all the money we gave him. Billy: The music for "Slumlord" came out of us like an uncontrollable anger kind of like the Incredible Hulk. Listening to the song you may get hyper blood pressure, anxiety, or--maybe for the elderly--a possible heart attack. Well that's how I felt stepping in to our studio and getting behind the drums.
What inspired it lyrically?
Billy: We don't base our music much on lyrics. The vocals consist more of sounds and phrases being belted into your inner ear until your brain explodes--what I consider to be the future of music. Lyrics can only give you one side of the story, sometimes obscured for poetic justice. As for us, we just give it to you straight forward: "I think I wanna fucking die! Why did I give all my money to this slumlord who looked so funny? Oversized forehead and big glasses, should have known better, rat-faced bastard. I think I wanna fuck shit up!"
Why did you go with clear vinyl?
Mike: We chose clear vinyl because we felt that the recordings weren't studio magic. It's all live on tape, no computer editing and no loops. We felt it was a pretty transparent recording, so we figured we'd make it a literal transparent record. Someone suggested red vinyl, like for blood, to relate to death. But I didn't listen. Billy: Yeah, it looks cool too.
What's the most memorable show you've ever played in New York?
Billy: My favorite show of recent time was an afterhours rage at Santos Party House for CMJ. We were booked to play a double set, the second with Johnny "put 'em in a body bag" Nelson. So we set up in the back corner, which annoyed the sound guy. After blitzing through five jams, the promoters try to cut our set short by grabbing Mike's bass, and almost knocking into my drums. So I kick into a beat and the crowd starts chanting, "Put 'em in a body bag!" Then we get cut off again. So I start climbing the ceiling of Santos and start giving the sound guy and the promoters the finger. Then Telli of Ninjasonik takes my face-mic and simmers the crowd down because they were ready for trouble and everyone was hella drunk. We had a lot of heads and we could have burned down Santos if we wanted. I honestly wouldn't feel bad doing that, because Andrew WK would really find out who likes to party hard.
What's your favorite place to eat in New York?
Mike: We don't eat. Billy: We're death machines.
Unstoppable Death Machines and mini-tourmates Running play Death By Audio on November 9 and Cake Shop on November 10.
Are you an emerging local band who has an upcoming 7", MP3, or album? Are you not totally fucking terrible like 90% of the bands in this city? Then please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Links and YSIs only. No attachments please!
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