Double Header – Street Sects

It’s great when you come across a band like this where you could throw out several genres and not one of them would be sufficient or make any sense.  Street Sects play a noisey variety of somethingrather from out of Austin, TX and they prove that something weird is happening in the American West.  It would be awesome if instead of some cowboy revival we got this kind of thing blaring from out of the deserts, tossing snakes and cacti about.  Street Sects is one of a few bands we’ve heard from the region with such a sound, the first one coming to mind being Melted Cassettes, whose album The Real Sounds From Hell Recordings we reviewed some time ago (now resting in the archives for a future appearance).  So when the vinyl came in for these guys, I (editor) was totally stoked to hear it through the old Philco to give that antiquated piece of hardware some modern beast.  This kind of sound hits you right in the heart and makes you shed a tear in hopes that someday, somehow, other people might understand what in the Hell true music can be.  Actually, no, scratch that, because if too many people learn to like this it won’t be cool anymore.  Here we go with another Double Header, in this case one band, two releases with two guys in the band so this whole doubling thing becomes a trope.


The Morning After the Night We Raped Death

Well here’s a mouthful.  Kind of clever too, maybe, if they’re doing a play on the “Morning After Pill.”  Our first release by Street Sects lays out all you need to know about their sound.  Interestingly, before we get to that, there’s quite a bit of thought put into this small release.  It’s the first in a series of five all under the header of “GENTRIFICATION: A SERIAL ALBUM” (caps by them, we use italics around here).  There is meaning behind this, you may question?  Yes, you are correct.  The 7″ comes with only two songs, digital has an extra sweety for you, but inside you’ll find a slip with the usual credits and a rather dense write-up of the concept behind this esoteric, depressingly symbolic angst.  Musically, these two are like a diesel powered street saw/drill combination run through effects pedals with vocals that are heavily manipulated to sound like an android coming off of Risperdal; all that suppressed creativity just comes right out.  Drum patterns run from organic punk assaults to speedcore-uzi spray in expected fashion.  Street Sects has one thing down, and that’s keeping the tension constant, like there’s literally no let-up in this release.  They make interesting usage of various electronics in the development of their ear-blasting, but the problem is it could have used some more bass, and that’s a bummer for this kind of music.  This particular release seems to heavily lean on treble, which leads to sounding harsher than it is in actuality.  The digital track is killer, it’s a real shame it wasn’t on the 7″ because it’s the true crux.  Comes in black or pink vinyl, but for some reason we got the former variety, which is totally not cool.  Good direction here, just needs some more brute strength in the future.  Score: 4 / 5

Broken Windows, Sunken Ceilings

Speaking of the future, this just dropped in July.  Hmmm, that’s actually the past, but whatever.  Part two in the series we only got to check out in digital, unfortunately, so we can’t say anything about the inserts, though expectations are Street Sects continues their noise-speak, quasi-philosophical ranting, which we should have stated above is quite welcome at Deaf Sparrow.  Musically you’re greeted with the same sort of direction as previously, to add to the unfortunateness.  The overall problem we mentioned earlier is the lack of bass to the sound, and here it is again, God damn it.  In their defense, they didn’t hear what we had to say beforehand.  So again, because of this issue, the shattering electronic breaks and snare rattle can be overbearing.  But for the truly noise-focused freaks who like their rock without a single element of humanity, this is the stuff.  An additional issue is that in spite of dense programming wonderment for your mind to investigate, this one also lacks the elements of connection.  It’s simple really, it doesn’t have as much catch.  Some of the sections feel broken, lacking cohesion, and this causes a partial loss of identity and the listener is left uncertain exactly what this series is supposed to mean.  And strangely, yet again, the digital-only track is the true winner.  Street Sects have a fine direction, but it still needs more force.  Live, these guys are probably a real treat.  On plastic, or online, they have a tendency to sound technologically weak, which is the exact opposite of what they require.  Give it some more boost next time, make our veins explode from the drop so we don’t look awkward.  On the plus side, another piece of stellar art graces the cover of this and the other, all by AJ Garcés Böhmer, who you should check out now.  Looking forward to the completion of the series.  Score: 3.5 / 5


Written by Stanley Stepanic