There are days when you want to listen to music that lifts your spirits and leaves you feeling good about life. Then there are days when you want to listen to music that leaves you feeling like you just got done working a 12-hour shift in an abandoned factory and need a shower. If you’re in the mood for the latter, look no further than Milwaukee’s Primitive Broadcast Service.
On the just-released Colors For Chameleons, the trio of Bryan Dorn (drums), J.D. Morgan (guitar, vocals), and Andy Steffenhagen (bass) deliver a noisy seven-track soundtrack to the decaying structures and ideals of the American Midwest. “City Of Clocks” opens with the sound of squeaking metal before launching into a driving blast of Sonic Youth-esque noise flecked with lyrics about the economy and bumming a smoke. The epic-length ghost story “Murmur” haunts the record for nearly eight minutes before ending in a sudden grease-fire explosion. The even-longer album closer “Bobby Says” spins a soldier’s story over a nail-bed of strangely tuned guitars and math-rock time changes. “Word Is A Virus,” meanwhile, takes William S. Burroughs’ concept of control and updates it for modern pandemic times. It also sports a chorus that sounds like it’s been put through a blender.
All told, Colors For Chameleons (Primitive Broadcast Service’s second full-length album) is a grimy and oil-slicked record full of dissonant-but-catchy odes to fear and anxiety. Fun! If you’re in the right mood—and why wouldn’t you be these days?—you should absolutely check it out.
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