By Al Kaufman
Beware those who listen to Pop. 1280. They make the type of music that makes moms everywhere think their kids are on drugs and sacrificing the neighbor’s cat.
The Brooklyn noise-punk band, which derived its name from a Jim Thompson pulp fiction novel, gleefully continues making that joyful noise that they introduced with their 2012 debut, The Horror. Imps of Perversion has that industrial, dystopian sound that would be a little too dangerous for the little girls who like to watch vampire love stories. It’s full of enough dirty, icky, gooey substances that it should come with a Wet-Nap. Lead single, “Lights Out,” opens with the line, “You drip detritus all over my floor.” So you get the general idea.
In the press release, that band calls Imps “a celebration of making the same bad decisions again and again.” But it seems to really be about a future world that would make The Doctor from Dr. Who cry. For every “Do the Anglerfish,” about kinky sex amongst lost souls, there are a few like “Population Control.” The song has a wildly discordant opening before Chris Bug’s computerized voice warns, “We’re here to keep you down; the toilet is our holy church.” Not quite sure what it means, but it is properly gross and disturbing imagery.
The guitars, drums, cyber-synths, and vocals come hard and fast until the final track, “Riding Shotgun.” While the main character may “move like piss down the open road” with a driver with a broken spine, the song has a slower, Sonic Youth quality to it, which would only make since the album was recorded at BC Studios, owned by producer Martin Bisi, who has produced some of Sonic Youth’s most important albums, and mastered by Josh Bonati, a friend of both Bisi and Thurston Moore. The song ends with the line, “We try to see how far we can go, and if I go I’m not gonna go alone.” It sums up Pop. 1280’s beliefs. We’re going to take it to the edge, and we’re bringing everyone we can with us. Imps of Perversion will ensure that a lot of disillusioned youths will come along for the ride.