Post Punk crew Swear Jar celebrates the release of its new long-player Cuss Saturday at the Southgate House Parlour with Pincushion and Mala In Se. Phratry Records is giving away Cuss CDs at the door with the price of admission ($5; $8 for those 18-20).
Though the press release for Cuss states “most people won’t like it,” fans of old-school, underground, independent Rock and Punk will immediately get what Swear Jar is doing. While most of the songs have a spastic, wild-eyed energy, tracks like “Lonely” possess the murky, sludgy grind of later Black Flag, while the sung/shouted vocals on songs like “Old Shake” and “Narcissist Artist” are reminiscent of peak Jesus Lizard and early Butthole Surfers.
The band’s rhythm section plays a prominent role; the ropy, sometimes distorted bass lines drive everything, while the creative, convulsive drums underline and accentuate the inherent chaos the trio effortless concocts on nearly every track. That sturdy anchor and the songs’ unexpected, roundabout structures (akin, in approach, to the hectic, unpredictable roads the Minutemen paved decades ago) allow the guitars to dynamically weave in and out of the grooves, shooting sparks of gnarly ingenuity.
While the recordings on Cuss might have benefited from a little more tightness (The Jesus Lizard’s maniacal sonic bedlam worked so well because of the members’ flawless musicianship), the occasional sloppiness is a part of Swear Jar’s appeal, giving the album an endearing “live” quality and accentuating the feeling of frenzied spontaneity(www.myspace.com/swearjarband)
More Local Notes
• While normally a consistent presence in the local club scene, singer Michele Feaster (aka II Juicy, frontperson for the hard-working local Blues/R&B band of the same name) hasn’t been able to perform lately. That’s because she’s been diagnosed with cancer and undergoing chemo treatment. Due to mounting medical bills, Feaster’s friends have teamed up to present a benefit concert at the Southgate House Sunday. The show (running 2-10 p.m.) features a trio of bands with which Feaster has performed — Ritchie and the Students, Them Bones and, of course, II Juicy, which will play with a guest vocalist and, if she’s up to it, Feaster herself. The show also includes sets by Leroy Ellington and the recently reunited Ricky Nye and the Red Hots. (www.iijuicy.com)
• Veteran local guitarist Damon “Skip” Chavis died July 17 from lung cancer complications. He was 64. In the ’60s, Chavis was a session guitarist for King Records and Olympic Records and appeared on records by James Brown and Hank Ballard. In the ’70s, Chavis’ band Westbound recorded for Fraternity Records and found regional success. The past few decades saw Chavis performing with Cincy acts like Ritchie and the Students, H-Bomb Ferguson and Leroy Ellington. For info on Wednesday’s memorial services for Chavis at the Thompson, Hall & Jordan Funeral Home in Forest Park, go to www.meaningfulfunerals.net.
• Cincy Hard Rock band Liquid Nation — which had a great run in the ’90s, including shows with Testament, Deftones, Voivod, Overkill and others — reunites Saturday for a concert at the Madison Theater with Session 9 and Stained Glass Idol. It will be only the second time the band’s classic lineup (Ted Brasier, Sean Riley, Mike Sontag, Brian Lange and Chris Simpson) has appeared together in 13 years. For more on the reunion, check out the special Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LiquidNation2010.
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: email@example.com