Pop. 1280, The Horror

Austin L. Ray

By Austin L. Ray

on 01.24.12 in Reviews
A relatively bleak and corrosive listen

“Burn, burn/ burn the worm,” goes the ominous chorus of The Horror‘s pissed-and-pulverizing opener, the perhaps-unsurprisingly titled “Burn the Worm.” Subtle, Pop. 1280 is not. But you don’t really need a gentle hand when your band regularly and fiercely recalls the finer moments of Liars, the Birthday Party and Swans. Where 2010′s The Grid EP sported the occasional synth-heavy hook, The Horror is positively relentless, piling brutal rhythmic grinding on top of lyrical references to dead people, bodies, death, and, well, the kind of horror that’s often reserved for the cinema. Perhaps it’s the addition of Twin Stumps former drummer Zach Ziemann or the apparent improvisational, on-the-spot writing process that created The Horror, but the album is a relatively bleak and corrosive listen – an accomplishment for a band that’s previously broached topics including bed bugs in low-income housing projects and dystopian future worlds. But that’s also part of the fun. Like their fellow wall punchers the Men, Pygmy Shrews and White Suns – bands the Village Voice has credited with drudging up the pigfuck spirit of yore – Pop. 1280 is making quite a glorious racket. If you can’t stand it, maybe you should get out of the basement.