AKKOLYTE: Clues in the Chaospile: LP

May 09, 2012

Tweaked-out grindcore from these guys. They land somewhere between Scrawl and No Less. Think of a heavier version of John Zorn. If they didn’t have the gargled vocals and distorted guitars, they could be free jazz. The drummer is pretty damn good! The songs are thrashy as hell, then they have these complex time changes and jazz-influenced breaks that display these guys have the chops. I like that they’re not sticking to a tried and true formula. They throw in clarinets, vibraphones, and more to add to their sound—and it’s not some random shit. You get the sense they actually put a lot of thought into the music. Could be interesting to see how far out this band will push their sound.

 –M.Avrg (Timekiller, timekillerrecords.com / Tofu Carnage, tofucarnage.com)

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SO LONG AS IT’S NOT LIKE YESTERDAY, $3, 5½” x 8½”, 33 pgs.

November 22, 2017
The last zine I read by Sean was called The Late Birthday Present. It featured a story (with some autobiographical parts?) about a dude—also named Sean—hanging out with his homeless friend, Jessie, and Jessie’s buddy, Mike. They go to the circus for Mike’s birthday, roast a doob, and end up in a graveyard. There were Crimpshrine allusions, too, and some consideration of what addiction does to people. I liked it. This zine, So Long as It’s Not Like Yesterday, is like a prequel with some of the same characters. Sean is still drawing caricatures of tourists on the pier in San Francisco—instead of making his customers look cute, he makes them ugly, and for this they pay him. Now that’s a job. His buddy Jessie cruises by when Sean’s done for the day, and at first it’s a mellow hangout, but things take a weird turn when Sean asks an innocuous question that causes Jessie to harm himself. I won’t unwind the whole thing right here, I’ll just say that Sean (the author) paces his stories really well, and aside from the quality of story, it’s cool to see the raw presentation, too, handwritten in pencil and photocopied with a colored pencil cover. That said, it feels weird not to mention this, too. I was a bit startled to read a line wherein the narrator drops a doozy of a racial slur while casually describing his friend. I don’t know what that was all about. It seemed a little asynchronous, if that’s the word, to see that term in a story that was otherwise pretty compassionate. I hope Sean keeps writing, and as he does so I hope he can find ways to tell his stories without isolating a wider readership, which I suspect he’s capable of. –Jim Joyce (Sean Dunne, AN4246, PO Box 905, Avenal, CA 93204)
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