US - Texas - Full Moon 66 - 02/27/02
Cyclops/Future News From the Front Line 7"
Tranquility Base Recodings
See now, now I'm fucking with history. All over the past there have been scattered these landmines,
just tossed off: of music, of life, of personal history, of the all-smeared-together-by-ashes-and-spilt-or-spit-Pearls,
messy tabs, strewn stems in the carpet, and the quotidian banality of this here mess of myself that
I have been able to shy and hide from in this music scribbling that I do, to just avoid altogether,
like exes from Texas or like knotholes in bathroom walls, like Chaindrive, purely strangers I am
dealing with on an anonymous relationship. These packages just arrive in the mail, these glossy
8x10s or press releases folded and lovingly typed so that I may disregard them to the laughing trash
or else snub in a public place, ever should we meet. And the music, oh, don't even get me started
with those sorts of morning-after or love-hangover tales. I know how the bass was thumping last
night through the PA and mess of clattering bottles emptied and splashed out, wasted, but today,
well, how do I explain the difference? Do I want to know them? That is a question long withheld,
all through the past. Do I hold back? A grudge, or even a caress, what am I holding here, if
not a piece of my own history? And how do I pull apart at such sticky layers of self, such
truths as I have come to know them over the years, truths not dropped in on lately, not even an
email or postcard or a hit on the website of m'life, not even visiting come X'Kwanzaa time, when
I am actually in the state of Tejas, and could really catch up with these people, these portions
of my past. Hey man, what you been up to, so hollow, the early mid-90's were such a crazy time,
right? RIGHT!? No really, it's not like I am embarrassed, I just don't always have time, y'know,
the relatives, the fam, yes, I know you are my brother, right thicker than, twins split and
glinting now in differing skins, shiny surfaces, reflecting each unto the...well, I'll call you
next time I'm in town. Although I despise this place, this misplaced home. I just don't want to
go back, can't go back. I tried that and tired, what a waste of plane fare and airport shoe
removal time that was. Like my punk-rock godfather once screamed into my ear, his beard
scratching at my neck and throat: "I wanna kill the past, before it kills me." Or was it instead
something about going home?
So I was stirred from the backseat of Kat's truck, "Come on, Glorium is going on right now."
It had been a long, hard-fought day of punk-rock dodgeball, and the music was still going. I had
drifted through the crunches of chords and a cover of "Time After Time" to the warmth of the
cluttered bench seat under the chill of Texas' stars. And this was the start of it all. Waking.
Well, no one will ever take away the start of the start of it, which would have to be laying on
Cole Man's floor, age 15, listening to him high-speed dubbing Nevermind, chirping and laughing
along with the damned thing that would both ruin and save my life. They're English or something,
right? "Here we ah now, entuh tain uhs." But this was so close to the initial explosion that as
the stars try to look back unto and chart the thing, the uncles and cousins of this, there will
be this gob of white light at the center, bursting out, and there...
But it was a green light, and the shadows splattered jaggedly along the walls were both
dragon-green and a ghostly black, the light reversed. The singer had made the mic and dangling
cord into some skeletal drip of vampire wings, scattered now over the entire stage with its wirey
shadows, to say nothing of his thin frame writhing and stuttering fires.
And that noise. Rupturing form both sides of my dreaming brain, from the players all rendered
to schizophrenic and ever-shattering shadows, shaman grips at the necks, the roaring was creating
these figures, playing both the cave and the light too. I was there, fractured, fucked, and yet,
there was that spurting as the pineal was raked bare and clean, over and over, clawing at the tomb
that every minute brings. How can you forget that sound of the seconds divebombing past? How, but
to be awake!
Huh, what? We were zonked. The red curls of the bowl had twirled between us and Terry Brown
thrice, and he had even wobbled up tall and spun us glorious tales of Tacoland as well as choice
objects out of his spinning top collection. My head was reeling, rubbing it alive, the eyes red.
This one that would spin and then flip to its head and peak was tops. I know how it felt, fersure.
Upside down, butter side down. Terry walked towards the stereo and unsheathed this clear piece of
vinyl in a xerox-riddled moonscape. The first Glorium single, "Divebomb"/ "Chemical Angel". Scorching,
byzantine buzzing and howling over three minutes of space over San Antonio. They arose out of San
Antonio too. These were our people. We could know these people. And if they could make a record,
then it follows...
"Divebomb" was the first in such a vaccuum as Texas, the first single of our scene. Not Trance
Syndicate, not skater, not sludge, a very singular sound. Holy to us. Like someone would mutter
once, it's like Pere Ubu. Well, the apocalyptic eyes and how they are staring, laughing at death
like Laughner, yes, through the melting of the windshield and that hot wind, yes, but...
and then, right as I'm sitting on the subway, scratching about this fucking past of mine,
I see one of the Owen boys, which one I can never tell, but these were the guys that helped ruin
my life up until this point. Their Buddy System imprint released the first El Santo record. Right
here on the subway. I must continue on with this.
We listened to Glorium's Cinema Pelagrosa LP literally hundreds of times, from the day
it was birthed and blurted out, at least every day, although it became more like prayer rug
visitation, facing east, mumbling drowsily at the encryption and patterns it surely had buried
in its lean girth. Argued to be uneven, to us it exactly mirrored our mindset at the time. We lived
a paranoid fantastia of rock hopelessness, a life forced through such weak channels for scraps of
that one true feeling, of belonging, beloved-longing, of dive bars, and cheap blown living room
speakers, bass fluttering about like sparrows for crumbs. The sonics of every song fluctuated,
schizophrenic, sometimes over heavy on the bass, at other times the high end was muddied. All
these wasted nights at either Tacoland, the Cavity, Emo's, the Winner's Circle, with the PAs
wrecked, audience wretched drunk, twisted ugly from such living after midnight. The voices could
be low in the mix, or the drums like wet cardboard; all the blemishes were present on the record.
Every distorted permutation of their "shiny rock beast" sound was laid bare on each track.
And Vodas, all the surpressed black heart murmurs of us were gurgling like glass through his
throat. All the bile was spilled for murder, pig hatred, soldiers soulless, the fucked up lives
of our friends, fucked, insects scribbling in the intestines and interstates of such a passed-out
corpus of our country, our drunken selves, looking for a freak to kiss or caress, even if only a
corpse looking for a place to crash, with the splashes of liquor vomit and blood, wanting the
blood of those bastards spilled, and these new patterns to come alive again, out through his
mouth every night. We needed something to smash, a floor to sleep on, a comfort away from the
electric eyes and ear tricks that prevailed upon us. Maybe we listened to it too much during
our acid tests. But the devil was by our side back then, and we knew we would make it through
This was supposed to follow next, I guess, or was it Espionage in Arthropodia instead.
Either way, these recordings given to Lungfish in early '95. And I cannot say what the fuck happened
over the next seven years, nor can I say who might even give a fuck about this by this point in
time. I mean, they only made 50 copies of their last CD, so why would anyone, like you the reader,
if still here, give a shit about this? Well, I do, as it is my history, part of my blood and
brain squish, and being in denial about certain factions of it, perhaps, but why not absorb that
life of another? Like Mutant Lovers...
There is plenty of sound blood for suckling here, vamps. The git chimes and bass bounds in
"Cyclops/ Thick Slice," perhaps not my favorite of classic Glorium tracks, but it is rendered
here in a way near urgent and cuurent by this point in time. Not always the greatest of the G's
strengths, the recording strategy was 'splained to me once by a Golden Hour correspondent as so:
"While other bands would focus their sound during the recording process, 'the Stretch Foot' bros
(their very name itself was yet a nickname for Death hisself) would reverse that funnel, the ideas
growing more broad and vague, more obdurate. Obviously, this pissed off the engineers to no end."
So while on the previous singles, chronologically (oh, and while I'm at it, just spilling the past
with no disregard, fuck Roger Unclean for eternity for the B/W cover damnation on that Glorium/El
Santo split), there were such things as backward and handheld tapes, pages being licked and flipped,
as well as the infamous spilled OJ on the goddamned masters, here the sound is very much burning
with passion and curiously straight ahead. And we know how wobbly it can get with only one eye,
chugging along, the machines glistening tight. How did they make it all cohere so long ago? And
why didn't it stick and grow after all those years?
(Why haven't I said something about Jorge J. Lara? Well, he wasn't even at the radio station
that day, when they played the newies off of Eclipse, as well as their favorite songs, like
Neu! And Throbbing Gristle. But they also played the Ohio Players' "Fire," and as that tape would
roll over and over again in the white station wagon ride, we would laugh, at here it comes, when
his voice goes tahten up ma stroke, Yeeeyuh! But he was never there! We had been so certain
it was his choice, and yet he had had a stand-in. At Los Amigos, the taco and chorizo nostalgia
is such that I blubber for forgiveness for Jorge J., for not inviting myself to his wedding. Did
I say "Kill the Past" earlier? I meant kill my Pastor!)
And the Owens boy, which one, walks by yours truly yet again! This time hours later, on another
line, heading home. What a gas if he knew what I was doing and why I was staring! And why is time
cycling and squealing like the L's high-pitched brakes?
The winner here is one of thee-all-timers for Glorium, "Future News from the Frontline." With
a clock tap on the shoulders, sure, it starts, or is it just Juan's restraint and timed-tapping
and the moment(ous) snare snaps? I can still imagine how his sticks should slice in the stilted
air, never a drum throne either, just a box or folding chair, how his teeth should snarl and hit.
All of it. And Gigante and Lino Max come to, lilting like titanium crow feathers, blacked and
tightening to wings at the word "Transmit!" which turns the wires white with heat and burns a
near "Axel F" riff beyond the imagined East Texas trenches and crevices of the void.
Nothing is smoothed as much as it is just burned clean and charred to a black dust. While such
blotter-fueled scorched ear(th) campaigns had adverse affects on many archival listens, I have
found the music here to be gratefully loosed from time and undead. I mean, who would actually
proclaim "Future News" seven years ago and yet have it actually decoded as relevant. Who would've
known? No one from back then. Certainly not me.
Copyright © 2002 Andy Beta