Monday, March 18, 2019

Vaporwave Headache: A Brief Review Of The New Album From USA/Mexico (ex-Butthole Surfers)

It's been two years since the last USA/Mexico record and, if anything, the band's sound has gotten even more unremittingly punishing. Which is another way of saying that I *loved* Matamoros, out Friday on one-time Homestead Records honcho Gerard Cosloy's 12XU label.

"Matamoros" kicks off with the pummeling title cut, a rager that sounds like an argument being held in the apartment next door, and the dude-half of the equation is cranking an old scratchy Aerosmith record -- at the wrong speed -- in an attempt to drown out the yelling. Elsewhere, the wonderfully-titled "Eric Carr T-Shirt" nods in the direction of drummer King Coffey's Butthole Surfers stuff, while the brisk "Vaporwave Headache" is nearly hardcore in its deliberateness. Coffey, along with Craig Clouse and Nate Cross, sees USA/Mexico as a weapon and, thankfully, there remains something uncompromising here about the group's "music"; if you don't get it, you're just (rightfully) left in the dust. George Disher of Spray Paint shows up here, as does Kevin Whitley of Cherubs, the band responsible for the song "Shoofly" covered with some zeal here on this record.

Matamoros closes with the side-length "Anxious Whitley", a 17-minute epic that feels like the band's shoving you in front of tracks, the tune itself the train barreling forward onto you with unforgiving power. It's an admirably courageous thing to release in 2019, a throwback to stuff on 12XU label owner Gerard Cosloy's old Homestead Records, and a reminder of the sort of genuinely dangerous bands he signed back in the Eighties.

Stubbornly old-fashioned, bludgeoning and brilliant in its intentional stupidity, Matamoros is even better than the last USA/Mexico album. It is out on Friday via the 12XU label.

More details on USA/Mexico via what may be the band's official Facebook page.

[Photo: Uncredited promotional picture]