Monday, June 6, 2011

Bitch Magnet - Umber LP (1989)

Featured on Elementary Revolt's Blogosphere of the Week!

Seeing as how there are multiple entries about Seam here at The Thinner the Air, it's pertinent to discuss Sooyoung's heavier-hitting past for the fans and uninitiated alike. Bitch Magnet formed in the late 80s and played a post-hardcore-esque sound similar to bands like Squirrel Bait and Bastro: similar guitar tone, aggressive bass lines... essentially that Midwestern sound. I've seen other interesting comparisons, too, from Jawbox to Big Black. (P.S.: Bitch Magnet's Star Booty EP was produced by Albini.) Myself, I've always considered Bitch Magnet to be a like heavier Seam — dark and contemplative, yet still melodic and catchy.

It's shocking that this project received as little attention as it did, although I attribute that to the comparatively small labels (Communion, Glitterhouse, Roman Candle, Waterfront) that they released their records on. I was surprised to find that Umber was released in 1989, but the heavy "intellectual" indie sound was evolving at that time. For example, a compilation called Human Music, released by Homestead Records the year before Umber, is a favorite of mine and a prime example of the eclecticism of late 80s independent music. Lots of creativity and experimentation. As far as Bitch Magnet goes, it's a cornerstone post-hardcore record. But you can decide for yourself.

Members went on to Bastro, Don Cabellero, Walt Mink, and Gastr del Sol. My copy was Communion #12; it's beat up, written on, and now yours to mutually enjoy.

Incidentally, Bitch Magnet are reuniting for All Tomorrow's Parties this year.

Bitch Magnet - Umber LP

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