Graham Repulski: Zero Shred Forty (Shorter Recordings, 2022)

September 14, 2022 at 7:37 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Graham Repulski: Zero Shred Forty

Graham Repulski returns to his much weirder solo work after releasing several albums with his band Von Hayes. 10 tracks zip by in 20 minutes, with cryptic lyrics howled out against bricks of guitar distortion and tinny drum machines. The guitar chords clash against the vocals, which seem like a weapon, with the tape hiss serving as a cloak. After the clanking, sideways hooks of opener “Wait Wait”, “Flaming Television” is an anthemic wailer condensed into less than two minutes and stuffed with messy guitars. “Boiled Again” is much longer (almost 5 minutes!) and more hypnotic, with a droney violin solo and a few lines that make the first verse of “So What’cha Want” pop up in my head, yet they aren’t direct quotes. A brief noise interlude precedes “Tart Milk”, a brief tune with a similar sort of wobbliness as “Wait Wait”, but this feels more like a fragment of a mutated ’80s pop song. “Rated Violence” is pretty straightforward and fades out without much consequence. Then we get to “Zoey the Cat,” a minute and a half of keyboard clouds, screeching violin, and zoned-out thoughts. “Failure Jam” dunks its catchy melodies under fluttering tremolo effects. “Jinx Pimp” is another hazy reflection under sheets of guitar fuzz, then the final track is an audio recording of someone walking outside and doing… something, it’s impossible to tell what. Like other Repulski releases, this one has some unshakeable hooks, but it also teases the listener with experiments and unexpected audio riddles.

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