Review: Triple Negative – Rodez Island Cyclone (Cost of Living, May 23)

Triple Negative is one of those bands that with each successive release not only reminds one of how fantastic they are, but also present and explore new facets of their sound. Most, if not all of the recordings that comprise the just-arrived Rodez Island Cyclone cassette edition will be brand new to fans, but the age of the music itself varies widely; the tracks that make up the two side-long suites are plucked from unreleased material and live performances captured well before the project’s recorded era, while others were tracked just this year. Even more lo-fi and rough-edged than the already slipshod Precious Waste in Our Wake and God Bless the Death Drive LPs, the near-formless delirium of A-side (‘La La La Haine’) cuts like “Overhead Pane Stane” evoking the best of that elusive early aughts homegrown psychedelia, from the moldy corner–dwelling group improv of NNCK to the woozy, sun-dusted drones of Sunroof! and Burning Star Core. These recognizable elements are still present in Triple Negative’s current output—albeit more thoroughly assimilated—so it’s fascinating to hear such foundational pieces of the band’s singular sound in a raw, unrefined state. Newer listeners like myself will feel right at home amidst the cacophonous tribal percussion and vocal abstractions of the early bits of side B (‘The Hares’), especially “Your Face Is Written Off All Over Your Face,” but the breadth of eclecticism soon grows even more with nods to early post-punk both implicit and explicit—the collection concludes with a breathless cover of “Karen,” one of The Go-Betweens’ first recorded songs. It should already be obvious, but as usual all of the song titles are incredible, their sensical nonsense and idiomatic half-subversion echoing the equally ambiguous yet familiar music.

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