I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a band who I learned about after they’d been plugged by Brian Turner and Henry Rollins on their respective radio shows. The Indiana based youths who make up The Coneheads left a huge impression with a wild cover of Nirvana (‘In Bloom’ I think… taken from a test promo) and then ‘Alien & Warm’ from this, their debut LP.
‘L.P.1. aka "14 Year Old High School PC-Fascist Hype Lords Rip Off Devo for the Sake of Extorting $$$ from Helpless Impressionable Midwestern Internet Peoplepunks L.P”’ (Erste Theke Tontraeger) came out in February and an initial run of 500 copies has since sold out. The record compiles recordings initially available on small runs of tapes released over the last year or so. I couldn’t believe it, the last year or so, on first listen they sounded like they’d fit right in the late 70’s to early 80’s weirdo musical underworld. Although watching some youtube footage of live shows I’m pretty sure they weren’t even born in the 80’s.
Performing under a name associated with a film about people who have misshapen skulls, it’s safe to say they don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s really bold, covering songs that people will most likely not want to hear; Nirvana, Talking Heads – how many ‘Psycho Killer’ covers are out there now exactly?! But like the Nirvana cover they just totally transform it, the way the singer addresses “run-away” in the chorus just slays me, is it supposed to? It at least sounds like they’re having fun. That’s the refreshing thing about this album; there’s nothing out of bounds to chew up and spit out, taking on those iconic songs and dismantling the myth or reverence around them is brilliant.
The low fidelity recording style The Coneheads used certainly suits the cassette format, no fads here, it just makes sense for what the band are about. The LP is a strong compilation of what they’ve done so far which retains their DIY approach. When I say low fidelity/DIY , I don’t mean they’ve just covered everything in fuzz and delay, the sound is actually pretty clean - each element comes through distinctly, you can just feel from the recordings it was made with whatever means they had … someone’s bedroom…. garage…. basement. It’s the skew whiffed vocals and hyper pace they play at that really grabs one at first. The melody heavy bass creeps in and it’s clear this is tying everything down. Frazzled and choppy guitars play alongside palpitating beats and then, there’s the totally demented vocals. ‘1982’ is another stand out track. It is 40 seconds long. ‘Waste of Space’ is pretty fantastic too with its spooked versus monotone vocal delivery and jittery/convulsive synths.
Oof, just love this record. ‘L.P.1. aka "14 Year Old High School PC-Fascist Hype Lords Rip Off Devo for the Sake of Extorting $$$ from Helpless Impressionable Midwestern Internet Peoplepunks L.P”’ is far and away one of the best albums to let loose from the last few months. Has anyone ever wondered what it would sound like if The Urinals played Devo songs on a rollercoaster? No, actually, to be honest, me neither BUT The Coneheads prove that it sounds pretty friggin’ great!
Check it all out right HERE