Boomkat Product Review:
Alpha Maid and Mica Levi return to their spresso project with another groggy, lopsided EP that reanimates the ghosts of Slint and Sebadoh with phantasmagoric Autotuned vocals, dubbed-out riffs and cavernous, post-punk rhythmic spirals.
If you've caught any of Alpha Maid's previous releases, or last year's fudgy, hook-laden 'spresso' EP, then you'll already know the kind of floury interference to expect. This one's rounder and more considered than its predecessor, starting with the lengthy, motorik 'FAST', a head-nodding chugger that sounds as if it's been recorded behind the altar of an immense cathedral. A bass guitar picks out a cyclic, post-punk/dub groove, and the duo turn their vocals into a wavering mess of robotic croons. The track changes pace at the mid-point, erupting into blistered, overdriven fuzz that coughs away to leave a more pensive croon. The fingerprints of slacker rock, sketchy day-zero indie and mangled hardcore are all there, formed into fresh whorls thanks to the duo's doggedly speculative mindset. Like Moin, they cut away at a well-chiseled template with contemporary tools, building unprecedented sonic architecture in the process.
'SET' retains the buzzsaw riffs and dissolves the vocals into faint wails, but it's 'CEMENT' that prods us right in the gut, with a lackadaisical, Slint-like twang and a sludgy beat, they trade vocals back and forth, kissing daydream echoes with garbled bars that cloud over the track. Before it's over, it glitches like a borked CD. Whip-smart, as usual.