Four Weird and Local Records From the First Half of 2011

Categories: Lists, Local Music
Don your apocalyptic coonskin with Cop City/Chill Pillars.
There's only six months until the next round of apocalyptic hysteria, when the clock will strike midnight on January 1, 2012, and everyone will piss their pantaloons in transcendental excitement. Nothing will happen, another 11 months and 21 days will pass, and then it'll be time for the serious 2012 heads to go hide in the bunker, because they know the Mayans predicted a specific date -- December 21 -- for the end of the world as we know it.

The pre-apocalypse has been fraught with political upheaval and natural disasters, sure indicators of the impending occurrence. Also, there are weird records. "These people listened to some strange shit," they'll say. They being whatever aliens and/or Mayan Gods rummage through our stuff after we're gone.

Maybe they'll even hack into our wi-fi and read our blogs. Just in case, here are four new records from South Florida's underground, all released approximately six months before the end of times.

Cop City / Chill Pillars - Held Hostage on Planet Chill LP 
First things first: Lake Worth's Cop City/Chill Pillars -- out on Orlando rock 'n' roll label Florida's Dying -- may have released one of the best LPs of 2011. Not just in South Florida or the greater Sunshine State, but in the whole country. Held Hostage on Planet Chill finally collects material that the band's been playing since its self-released debut seven-inch in 2009. That record dealt in more explicit heaviness via broiling, metallic grunge. Planet Chill explores similar terrain, but loosens up the dirge with snappy, fried guitar licks, ("Nobody Likes You" and "I Shot The Deputy"), and plodding, psychedelic bummer mantras ("Stuff Happens"). The doom-laden post-punk surf sound also lends itself well to slinky dub rhythms ("Jennifer" and "Egyptians") as well as post-"Louie Louie" nimrod-pop perfection ("Things"). The album art is the icing on the cake.  

Neon Blud / Diet Cokeheads - Compact Heat split 7'' 
Hey Miami, you better keep an eye on Palm Beach County. Yeah, Surfer Blood is from there. But so is Cop City/Chill Pillars, not to mention the Jameses, Guy Harvey, the Dewars, and recently opened DIY multipurpose performance space Snooze Theater. And if independent Palm Beach labels like West Palm Beotch keep releasing records that sound like this Neon Blud/Diet Cokeheads split, the drive up I-95 might start looking shorter every day. It's fitting that this seven-inch came out around the same time as the Cop City LP, as the three bands involved have been this blogger's long-reigning Florida triumvirate for over a year. Neon Blud comes out blaring and swearing with choppy noise that recalls the eclectic intensity of hardcore-kid-turned-stoner record label SST. Meanwhile, Diet Cokeheads get subterranean, croaking out a thick, groove-heavy banger. Perfect pairing, great label. 

Animal Tropical / Ice Cream - Just Between Us Girls split 10'' 

Hot off the presses is the self-released vinyl debut of Miami music veterans Animal Tropical and up-and-comers Ice Cream. Check out the story behind the record here. As for the music itself? The current direction of both bands is captured to the full​est extent, as is their complementary relationship: Ice Cream's kooky/spooky psych-pop provides a straightforward reprieve from Animal Tropical's wild ride of an A-side, which features vocalist Jose Castello as el capitán at the helm of a manic potpourri of instruments, voices, and overdubs. 

Staccato Du Mal - Sin Destino LP
Wierd Records in NYC is ground zero for the minimal-synth cold wave revival. But flagship artist Staccato Du Mal (AKA Ramiro Jeancarlo) calls Miami home. The chill wave era champions lush, hazy, dreamy, tropically-inspired tones, and the reignited interest in a spartan, monochromatic style may surely be a temperature-reducing reaction. Staccato does the movement major justice with this latest full-length.  

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Iron door
Iron door

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Guy Harvey is awesome 

Meekel Martí
Meekel Martí

Steve is so right. Thanks for being right, Steve.

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