Release Date: May 1, 2012
Record label: Hardly Art
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Garage Punk
There's a 1982 episode of the Erik Estrada cop show "CHiPs" where a punk group called Pain raises hell for the local cops-on-bikes. Central to the plot of the episode is a battle of the bands, where the punks played a song, also called "Pain", that's supposed to prove how tough they were. The result is a ridiculous caricature of punk stereotypes: "I take a hunk of concrete/ I stick it in my face/ I like to play with razor blades/ I hate the human race!" And while New York sludge punks K-Holes probably don't steal stuff, slash tires, or terrorize Erik Estrada, "Rats" is Dismania's straight-faced equivalent of "Pain".
Dismania is a complex listen and often times seems at odds with itself. There’s a certain level of the “everyone-for-themselves” aesthetic that was championed by the New York No-Wave scene in the ‘80s but there are so many things that click, that it just ends up boasting an illusion of that particular brand of ramshackle nature. That’s not to say that Dimania isn’t an incredibly chaotic and often times claustrophobic listen.
The K-Holes are a band from New York City, and you don't need a press release or record review to know it. From the first notes of their sophomore LP Dismania, the grime, depravity, desperation, and sometimes fun of the big city come through in screaming waves. Guitarist/vocalist Jack Hines did some time in the Black Lips before relocating from Atlanta to N.Y.C., but the heat-stroke garage rock of his previous band is relegated to only the faintest of echoes in the K-Holes' sound.
Speaking not from personal experience but from the hallowed pages of Wikipedia, a K-hole is a schizophrenic, hallucinogenic state achieved after consuming a sufficient amount of the drug ketamine. A K-hole can include out-of-body or near-death experiences, and that crazy Timothy Leary psychiatrist guy from the 70s – the one who prescribed LSD – got his patients to take it. In other words, it’s a terrifying, paralyzing nightmare in which you can see yourself thinking you’re about to die, and then you don’t remember it when you wake up.