“The world is dying oh my god/ To be alive right now is such a gas.” If there was any way to describe 2017 so far, there’s no doubt it’s this line from “Unmanned Scanner,” one of the many new songs off of Damaged Bug’s latest LP Bunker Funk. The side project of Thee Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer, Damaged Bug continues to experiment with all things electronic and outer space on their follow-up to 2015’s Cold Hot Plumbs (and that tarot card 7″ bundle from 2016). Oozing with psychedelic guitar work and busy synth arrangements, Bunker Funk delivers a 14-song space story, at times thrilling and at others downright spooky. To call it otherworldly is an understatement.
We already heard “Bog Dash” early this year, and it sounds at home aside the frantic scurry of “The Cryptologist,” which literally goes on about digging up bodies in a graveyard with lines recited like a ritual chant. On “Slay The Priest,” the synths edge their way into full-fledged extraterrestrial spaceship drones that later come to fruition on “Ugly Gamma,” which unabashedly plays with this alien narrative. The album’s title track offers just what it suggests, one of the more funk-driven songs on the album. It’s easy to get lost in the heavy psych and drift from reality. In the same vein as “The Cryptologist,” “Mood Slime” also revolves around death, but this time more so what happens next with the lyric, “This flesh is fertilizer/ Have no doubt you’ll be right beside her.” Standout track “Liquid Desert” momentarily sheds the album’s peculiar skin for something a little less spacey and more concentrated.
Stream Bunker Funk below.
Bunker Funk is out 3/10 on Dwyer’s Castle Face Records. The band has also announced their plans to release a 7″ with Black Pus as part of the LAMC 7″ Series. The tracks are available for pay what you want on Bandcamp with 100% of the digital proceeds going to the ACLU.