Review: Wreck of the Minotaur – A Little Roy One on One Reissue (Tomb Tree Tapes, Oct 31)

I see you ya fuckin’ posh fucker… I’ve got yous here a can o’ big fuckin’ money Stella…

Is there a spoken introduction to an album that is a more iconic and anticipatory indicator of incoming chaos than this, the funny yet vaguely threatening ramble tumbling into the feedback and unhinged screaming that begins opening track “Big Money Stella” on A Little Roy One on One, Wreck of the Minotaurs only release. With all of the forgotten 00s scenecore that prolific collector’s edition label Wax Vessel has been putting out, I figured it would be them who got their hands on the rights to reissue this brief but beloved five-song EP, but instead the long-overdue reintroduction of the London band’s flash-in-the-pan masterpiece has been handled by small Nanaimo, B.C. tape label Tomb Tree. Unsurprisingly, the small run of cassettes printed sold out almost immediately, but the repackaged version (there doesn’t seem to have been any remastering or other alterations done) is available for name-your-price download on Bandcamp, complete with an appropriately gruesome revamped version of the original cover art. My hope is that most of you have heard this already, but if not now is certainly the time; WotM’s flawless onslaught of complex, technical riffs and grooves; both off-kilter, ersatz math breakdowns and traditional mosh slams; some of the most (appealingly) virtuosic hardcore drumming ever laid to tape; expert control of dynamics; and a remarkably well-assimilated sample from the film adaptation of American Psycho in “Hard Bodies Are Everywhere! Hand Me My Blade!”: Patrick’s distressed and ultimately useless confession to his lawyer is accompanied by snapping snare and a quirky bass lick before the instrumental descends into complete chaos once more. There are even some well-placed violins in unforgettable closer “My Sweet Annabella I’m Not Coming Home,” (and if that alone doesn’t sell you, the track was also included in my Breakdown Bonanza mix). A Little Roy One on One is both inextricably a product/artifact of its time and a completely timeless slice of fucked-up genius. I hope these surprise rereleases keep coming because I love being able to write about things I love that I missed the ability to review due to my youth; fingers crossed for Black Market Activities to realize that a vinyl press of I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die for its fifteenth anniversary next October would be an absolute cash-cow, and/or that whoever is putting out a Hayworth discography release does it soon.

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