The Outsiders: Vol. 26

Not all of Stereogum’s favorite sounds conform to what folks expect us to cover. In this space, resident Bananafish fetishist Brandon Stosuy focuses on bands, albums, singles, and villages in Sweden that may otherwise pass by unnoticed. This installment’s virtual milk crate contains Blessure Grave and Cro Magnon.

This time I wanted to focus on two duos from different coasts, San Diego’s Blessure Grave and Lafayette, Indiana’s Cro Magnon. Blessure Grave got mentioned in passing in the Crocodiles BTW for their split 12″ with the Crocs and Cold Cave. The bands offer variations on a theme — dark pop that looks backwards, albeit in different directions. Instead of the Crocodiles’ Jesus & Mary Chain the San Diego duo of Reyna Kay and T. Grave mention (and sonically reference, at times, though never in too straightforward a way) Death In June, Sex Gang Children, Psychic TV. These are all groups that could be linked to Cold Cave, too, but Wesley Eisold inserts more OMD and then the “transgressive” lit of Peter Sotos, Dennis Cooper, etc. Much like Cold Cave’s interest in (and connection to) Prurient and other noisy fare, Blessure Grave mention old timers Discharge and TSOL and do a cover of “City Lights,” by one of my early (and all-time) favorites, the Shadow Ring (Shadow Ring’s Graham Lambkin created the “City Lights” 7″ cover art). The track they passed along, “Feeding The Silence,” is from a split 12″ with Brooklyn neo-folk Death In June enthusiasts Cult Of Youth.

[Photo by Patrick Martin]

Blessure Grave – “Feeding The Silence” (MP3)

Amusing, unattributed quote at their MySpace:

god this band sucks. enough blank dogs too. these bands will be on poo poo street soon enough. they are burning people out. prolific without progression, not one GOOD hook.

Accordingly, BG’s heavy release schedule includes the When I Die cassette (Sacred Bones), “Making The Death Beds…” 7″ (Release The Bats), split 7″‘s with Rapid Youth (Family Time) and Wetdog (Angular/Down In The Ground), the Cult Of Youth split 12″ (TBA), and a couple 12″s on Sacred Bones and TMU.

Keep it coming.

[Cro Magnon]

As you might guess from the inclusion of “kitchenware” in the following list of instruments, Cro Magnon, the Indiana duo of Katie Leming (lead vocals, drums, kitchenware) and Haley Fohr (guitar, bass, back up vocals, and the mind behind the kick-ass Circuits des Yeux) create noisy fare. But with a pop core amidst the skree. Like Patti Smith’s “Piss Factory,” their “Dust Factory” was inspired by work. Unlike “Piss Factory,” it could give you tinnitus. Katie told me this:

Haley and I wrote this song in my dad’s unheated garage when it was 25 degrees outside. You might be able to tell that from the vocals. I wrote the lyrics while I was singing them on this recording. That day was also a particularly grueling work day for both of us.

Cro Magnon – “Dust Factory” (MP3)

I like the apology at the beginning. “Dust Factory” will show up on their next release. For now you can get the Cro Magnon 7″ EP (Bruit Direct) and their contribution to the Xxperiments Compilation LP (Die Stasi). You can also sample plenty at their MySpace. “Wash” is pretty excellent, for starters.

What’s also excellent is Magik Markers’ Balf Quarry, out 5/5 via Drag City.