Release Date: Jan 24, 2012
Record label: Sacred Bones
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Review Summary: RIYL: dictatorial apocalypses, canine imagery, varying intensities of nutshotsThe Horror is a testosterone-fueled pounding. There’s no pussyfooting around it; the first lyric is “two dogs fucking.” Everything about this record--the drums, the guitars, the sneering vocals--spits unbridled masculinity. On “Nature Boy,” orders to dance are barked with a drill sergeant’s capacity to emasculate: ”hips to the right and hips to the left.” That a move this potentially self-parodying is genuinely unsettling is testament to how utterly convincing the threat level is on The Horror.
“Hips to the right and hips to the left” — Nature Boy slows up past the song’s initial attack of fuzztone and feedback, vocalist Chris Bug waxing David Yow-like with a tone that’s authoritative while hollow as if he’s constantly swallowing air. Their name based on a crime novel by Jim Thompson, Pop. 1280 spends their debut LP, The Horror, rockin’ Amphetamine Rep-style across factorial pump and process (Bodies in the Dunes) or grinding guitar strings Cramps’ like overtop danceable swagger (Dogboy).
Pop. 1280 — a novel by renowned author of hardboiled fiction, Jim Thompson. Per Wikipedia: “the first-person narrative of Nick Corey, the listless sheriff of Pottsville County, the “47th largest county in the state” (probably Texas) with a population of “1280 souls” (a number much reduced by the story’s end).” Pop. 1280 — a New York punk band consisting of Chris Bug (vocals), Ivan Lip (guitar), Zach Ziemann (drums), and Pascal Ludet (bass/programming).
Inter-band scraps, blatant sexuality and off-stage debauchery aside, we hardly ever associate beefiness with your average blog band these days, even less so if they’re associated with Brooklyn. With No New York looking more like a fairytale, the bands that represent NYC are grown-ups like the National, Interpol and Animal Collective; all talented, but certainly not dangerous. It only takes one Google search to find a dozen articles about how the boroughs have lost their edge.
Pop. 1280The Horror[Sacred Bones; 2012]By Ray Finlayson; March 2, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGAlthough the name Pop. 1280 comes from a 1964 novel by crime writer Jim Thompson, my immediate thought when seeing the New York band’s name was that it sounded like some specifics from a gun barrel, or was a reference to the year 1280 itself.
If the hardest thing for a new rock band to do is be original, then the second hardest is to be scary. Most artists deploying horror-movie imagery and shock tactics inevitably succumb to campy theatricality (as seen in everyone from Marilyn Manson to the earliest iteration of the Horrors), or are quick to explain it away as just a ruse (e. g.
Named for the '60s crime novel by Jim Thompson, Pop. 1280 are similarly bleak. Released nearly a year after the Grid 12", the music on the post-punk quartet's debut is atonal, full of noisy, jagged guitar strikes, brittle drumming, and minimalist, deliberately repetitive vocal shouts. Any sense of melody is thrown out the window.
New York noise quartet Pop. 1280 gets their name from a Jim Thompson crime novel, and like Thompson, the band paints a bleak picture on The Horror, their full length debut. On opener “Burn the Worm”, tension-filled guitar lines and savage drums unleash a primal, yet controlled fury, accompanied by hideously visceral lyrics such as “two dogs fucking/digging for gold.” Forget foreboding; the danger is already here.
Lurching Brooklynites Pop. 1280 feed off borrowed nostalgia; No Wave's serrated sneer certainly isn't extinct on debut LP The Horror. "Waiting for my dutch/I suggest you start collecting dust," cackles Ivan Lip with a nasty grin. This is dirty, dusty, disintegrated bay-music at its best. The drums ….
“The thing about dogs,” vocalist Chris Bug explains on the track “Beg Like A Human,” “is that they don’t know what they’re doing/I want you to beg like a human.” Pretty sinister, right? Well, sinister is an apt description of Pop. 1280’s The Horror, its first full-length for Sacred Bones. The New York quartet has soundtracked a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world.