Tabs Out | Women of the Pore – Folk Music

Women of the Pore – Folk Music

3.3.20 by Ryan Masteller

What the heck IS “bunker jazz,” anyway? I honestly don’t know. The internet wants me to listen to something called the Bunker Jazz Band, but that isn’t it – I want to listen to Women of the Pore, the New Brunswick troublemakers responsible for things like “Don’t Let Them Bastards Grind You Down” and “Dump Babies.” For me to sit here and try to define the undefinable, the conceptually slippery, the culmination of random words slammed together for the heck of it would be futile. Just think about what a bunker is. Then barely apply jazz to it. Like German Army, maybe, but without the samples or the industrial clanging.

There’s some industrial clanging.

Furthermore, don’t be fooled by the title, because this isn’t Woody Guthrie or Bob Dylan or Creed and Fred Durst holed up with an acoustic guitar and a tape recorder. This is instead the basest of the base, the lowest of the low, the subterraneanest of the subterranean, music made on an earthen floor of some room cut into the living crust of the earth itself. A “bunker” perhaps? Sure, let’s get crazy with this. From here the Women ride plodding low-end rhythm, cutting it with blasts of synthesizer and brass and other such oddities and noise-ities that you couldn’t pin down even if you were the music teacher at my high school (who was pretty good). Content with their crapulence, Women of the Pore play music for crouchers, for crawlers, for stumblers who just can’t gain a foothold in this modern excuse for society. These listeners are the downtrodden, the forgotten, the tossed-aside – they need somebody to speak for them.

Wait – maybe this IS folk music, like ol’ Woody imagined all along. Machines killing fascists and whatnot.

Still, this mirror to the basement level is like a psionic punch to the gut as you wallow along with Women of the Pore. The specter of endless toil follows you throughout the tape, and the existential dread builds until it’s almost unbearable. But that’s what makes “Folk Music” such a riveting listen – it doubles down on the environment and mood and never breaks character. You’re left to your own devices in the middle of it, and I’m pretty sure you won’t get up to much except for trouble. Let “Folk Music” be your evil guide.

These grody pro-dubbed cassettes are limited to fifty copies from Orb Tapes.

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