En Lack Ech
For the past two months, I have been spending my time in unemployment purgatory trying to crack the Albuquerque, DIY, fuck bar culture music scene. It has not been an easy task to say the least. There are several obstacles I see that prevents Albuquerque, nicely placed between Phoenix and Texas, from thriving. Most importantly is a civic government that is both conservative and paranoid creating a lot of obstacles for young people to see music. Most bar venues are 21+ and often offer free entry with no cover. This prevents kids from seeing local and touring DIY bands, thus not eliciting grand ideas of creating one’s own scene. Further there seems to be a rather manana type attitude in the belief that everything will happen later. There seems to be a want, but not a drive in a scene that seems fairly fractured.
I wrote earlier about a space called Small Engine, which seemed promising. I haven’t quite cracked it’s purpose yet, as they only seem to offer a monthly show. But behind that scene are some interesting, local artists who are, in some capacity as I have yet to fully realize, creating their own world. Sabertooth Cavity is a band that seems connected to this collective. And after being a band for nearly six years, they have released a blistering, debut album, En Lak Ech.
Maybe the manana attitude pays off around here. I admit, I have a serious OCD problem. I’m from the land of instant gratification, but a lack of such gratification is not present upon the multiple listens. In fact, I am kind of pissed off at myself for not going to see them on Sunday night at Small Engine. I had some shit to do, but if I had been less inclined to embrace this laid back culture, I might have been able to do both. But such is life. It was in fact the curiosity of the band and the space that led me to their bandcamp page for a PAID DOWNLOAD (yes I actually paid for some music in my unemployed state of existence) of said album. It’s pretty awesome.
The music contained on En Lak Ech is pretty fucked up and funky as shit. Sure, in between saucy space rock jams, this quartet laces the recording with noise interludes of feedback and horn playing, but when they lay down the groove, watch out your ass doesn’t start inappropriately shaking in public. This music has bottom, it has soul and swank, even in its hyperactive child, full on rock throttle. Center track “Duke City Shuffle” may be have a squelching layer of guitar buzz on top, but the foundation is sex drenched bass and drums at frantic speeds. It’s chock full of 70’s bravado funk and a bit spastic like some prog-rock hybrid. But it’s tight as all hell. The slight buzz/hum of Saxophone underlying in the extended riff session that brings the song to a close is such a perfect little flavoring. “Pisachi y Diablerist” has some total Bad Brains type action going on in the opening guitar parts before Sabertooth Cavity just sorta spazzes out, brains and blood all over the place, feet slipping in the violence.
This is the kind of shit I’m looking for. I don’t write about this because music is an academic pursuit. I don’t lay it all out about what I am into because I think I am cool. I’m a fucking nerd, on the outskirts of normal, functioning society. It’s what separates me from my modest, middle class upbringing. If I spent any of this energy on the pursuit of self-preservation, concerned about the maintenance of my future, I wouldn’t even be in this city. But lets face it, all these words are about how I am a dork, looking for the next fucked up fix. Sabertooth Cavity are the type of band I want to be into, that a scene can be built around. This is where it’s at. Now if it could just happen a little more often.