1.20.22 by Matty McPherson
Honestly, I love a good “proof-of-concept” tape. The kind that is purposely put in cardboard instead of the norelco, left with only a singular “cassingle” level message to bear that belts out across a C15. And Expedient Self has managed that without too much trouble on the Body Man/Facist Game Show quickie we have here today. The Brighton, UK based one-piece is just noodling with guitars, yet seems to have quickly grabbed attention with a keen ear towards a balance of melody and noisy that would fit at the local farmer’s market during the witching hour. Sonically, it’s not too far removed from a twisted Astral Spirits release or Kevin Levine’s glass-shards style playing that brought noir aesthetics to PiL eons ago.
Side A’s Body Man twists and turns with detuned, jazzy guitar slinkery. A motif, what I’ll refer to as a consistent pang, pops like one of ‘em cartoon characters whose eyes just went all AWOOGA on another hot cartoon character. It never leaves the fray, yet Expedient Self is quick to layer it on top of cantankerous noise, warm overdubs, and multi-layered strings that quickly become a murderous cacophony. It’s twisted yet sugary, suggesingt a timeline not too far removed from those early days when you could buy Factory Records out of the back of a car (or so I’m told). Side B’s Facist Game Show continues the finger picking odyssey, but is more content to stretch itself out and just see what happens when feedback is introduced. Throw the chap a fiver, won’t you?
Limited Edition professionally pressed and printed cassette tape, Shrink-wrapped (😢), now available at the Expedient Self Bandcamp page