When it comes to newly popular music genres among the post-adolescent set, there's some truth to the syllogism "noise is the new emo." But where others may despair of modern youth's tendencies to cluster around trends, this is a fad worth encouraging.
What better way to shock the suburbs than to go for noise? Even the low-culture metalheads I grew up with had the fallback of "musical skill" as a noble pursuit in itself--a noise regime would upend any notion of meritocracy.
Which makes a Hair Police tour like a pioneering Johnny Appleseed in short-pants. The Lexington, Kentucky trio deals in a brand of dread, menacing the upstart American rock underground with the subtlety of a piano dropping from the sky. On their numerous releases on labels like Freedom From and their own Gods of Tundra Imprint, and touring the USA with compadres Mammal and Neon Hunk, Hair Police bring an atavistic approach to electronics as punk rock, bludgeoning ears with so much sinister distorto skree.
Singer Mike Connelly comes off like a rage rocker that got sent to the wrong section of the record store, bringing home an armful of Harry Pussy records like they were Nirvana. This is not to perpetuate an image that watching Hair Police is a Kubrickian monkey-meets-monolith fiasco of devolution, though it's tempting to picture this tour as a Lord of the Flies for Gen Y.
Load labelmate Kites might serve as the equivalent of Piggie--RISD edumacated Christopher Forgues has some repute as a visual artist. His stellar headfuck of a full-length, "royal paint with the metallic gardner from the united states helped into an open field by women and children," seems somehow purer than Hair Police, maybe just refined to one man's freak out with a four track, even delving into chant-y vocal and folk guitar weirdness a la Amps For Christ. Bulb Records honcho Pete Larson calls Prurient "the only active noise act worth seeing today." I can neither confirm nor deny this statement, but it'll be well worth donning some earplugs to find out.