Boomkat Product Review:
Juliana Huxtable, Via App and Joe Rinaldo Heffernan light the touch-paper with their blindingly bizarre debut single, charismatically mutilating prog rock, b-movie electronix, symphonic punk and pinched electro in the process. A firework display for anyone into Siouxsie and the Banshees, Drexciya, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kathy Acker or Lizzy Mercier Descloux.
It would have been far too obvious for Huxtable to emerge with a project that simply built on her reputation as a DJ. She's been developing her craft and sharpening her voice for far too long to give us the expected gargle of dysregulated glitches, spongy drums and freeform poetry. Instead, she got together with her long-time collaborator Heffernan and club darkwing Via App to formulate Tongue in the Mind, a trio who cut the high-minded ambition of prog with the sneering sincerity of no wave, tying it all up with a vivid neon bow.
'Pretty Canary' is the band's first proper recording, and arrives after months of live renditions and studio revisions. It was worth the effort, and the finished version is bewilderingly tight despite its epic scope. "What's up y'all, had to pop out my situation 'cause I fell off too hard," Huxtable mouths in deliberate cadence over distorted, alien electronics. Then there's the tease; skittering electro-fried drums and serrated blasts of guitar noise prompt Huxtable to break into a fresh delivery. The three trade ideas back-and-forth for a few moments, skipping between punk rock and limber club sounds, before Huxtable takes the lead over a taut 4/4, crooning until her voice cracks and stirs sensually.
That leaves the final act for Heffernan's metal-flecked, virtuoso axe 'n drum work, adding the gargantuan pinch of tongue-in-cheek flavor that reassures us we're tuned into the right channel. It's the kind of track that should cause a raft of media darling indie/post-punk futurists to go back to the drawing board and figure out what they're doing wrong. Absolutely huge, in every possible sense.