Wednesday, June 03, 2009


The pre-edit version of what ran in today's Clevescene:

The Scarcity of Tanks
No Endowments
(Textile/Total Life Society)

Scarcity of Tanks frontman Matthew Wascovich hails from Cleveland, but to ears still ringing from the noisy rock - distinct from "noise rock," thank you very much - of Shellac, the Jesus Lizards, and other Touch & Go-affiliated acts, the group's jazzbo-fied clang and din comes across as decidedly Chicago in feel. Trolley-cable basslines sproooing, saxes squawk, and spincter-tight drum fits combust - while hot-shit chicken-wire guitar riffs snake in and around to tie these 11 anti-songs up into nasty, gristle-stuffed little care packages. "Hedge Over Height" frantically skins its knees on the gritty whiplash of spindled guitars and Uzi-like kitwork, while "March Toward Crash" is a more haphazard creature, borne of scuzz-psych accents and incidental feedback congealed; much of Endowments suggests early Sonic Youth wasted on shrooms, which is no bad thing. But for all the stormy nihilism spun, Wascovich is Scarcity of Tanks' main attraction, intensely overenunciating nightmarish, impressionistic verse like Steve Albini rudely riffling through Lee Ranaldo's poetry journals. "The humans were decimated, but the animals restored," he bemusedly declares on "Motto for the Parked," where sparse instrumental seethe and harmonica whinny puncture near-silence like sabers. He pauses dramatically, as if he were the late Mitch Hedberg allowng space for delayed audience applause, then mutters darkly: "Evolve, or improve the atrophy."

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