Release Date: May 15, 2012
Record label: Soft Abuse
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
A short interview with the ‘rising’ (now-‘risen’) musician Julia Holter toward the beginning of the year sparked a brief but intense discussion among TMT staff. In particular, her snide remarks about small-time musicians who “just, like, [puke] into the microphone” generated some edgy debate. One staffer felt that it perfectly encapsulated the problem of “anti-intellectualism” in America and even suggested that critics, often being failed musicians themselves, self-interestedly invest in the “de-skilling” of music when they tout said mic-pukers; another, by contrast, criticized Holter’s explicit reliance on 19th-century academic/capitalist assumptions that the value of art is determined by work and time.
Stefan Neville's 2012 release for Soft Abuse was, for the first time for that label, a full across-the-board simultaneous CD, cassette, and album release -- which might not sound remarkable except that, in the context of his sprawling discography and multi-format/multi-label reissues, it makes a remarkably unified release. The basic goal of Pumice to produce fuzzy, echo-heavy home recordings of pop hooks as such remains the same, though, from the start of "Hey Crap Crab," a woozy jaunt. Perhaps it makes sense that the conventionally prettiest song is also the shortest -- and called "Hump Piss.
Whenever the issue of noise music is brought up in my most close-knit circles, it immediately becomes a defining tool. There may not be a genre as divisive as noise music has proven to be. It seems that everyone has a passionate opinion about it and that there’s virtually no room for indifference. Somewhat surprisingly, in my experience, its most ardent defenders (myself included) who have either done time playing punk houses basements in as many cities as possible or playing jazz halls and studying John Cage.