Donkey Bugs: Ancient Chinese Secrets 12"

Donkey Bugs: Ancient Chinese Secrets 12"


Tags: · 10s · cleveland · industrial · midwest · post-punk · recommended · weird
Vendor
Lumpy Records
Regular price
Sold out
Sale price
$14.00

Clevos DBs have created a bizarro left field masterpiece. Strange, mystical, mysterious - I just can’t remember the last time I was so debilitated by music. Some songs bring to mind the best late 00s drum machine punk bands such as Spider/Catatonic Youth, others move into industrial territory a la Monte Cazazza (especially “ABCs of Lust”). And a peppering of dub to boot! There are Multiple personalities behind the mic – a regular vocalist, a Russian woman, Kate Bush, a cheese loving northerner. The vocals really shine, some of the most confident lyrics I’ve heard. Definitely an unrestrained feel to the entire album (feedback as an instrument???) a la the Residents – the first time I heard it reminded me of the first time I heard Duck Stab, completely mind bending. Not for everyone but I’m completely smitten.

Our take: Debut release from this new Cleveland project, and while Cleveland is a city that produces a lot of head-scratcher records, this might be the head-scratchiest of them all. Donkey Bugs build songs around sparse drum machine rhythms and vocals with other instruments (mostly synths, from the sound of it) weaving in and out, but it would a big stretch to call this synth-punk. The label’s description mentions the Residents, and that’s the closest comparison that I can think of. Like the Residents’ music, Donkey Bugs’ songs feel deconstructed, with anything familiar or conventional purged, leaving only a weird, distorted skeleton of a song. The melodies and lyrics are also bizarre and surreal. They remind me of the songs that I make up when my partner goes out of town and I get three or four days into being alone. At that point I go a little crazy and make up strange little songs about my cat or what I’m making for dinner or whatever, and at their weirdest they might resemble something on this record. I hesitate to mention it because no one out there might agree, but something about this record reminds me of Royal Trux in places, though Donkey Bugs’ music is far more sparse (as the description mentions, it’s even dub-y in places) and less chaotic. If you’re looking for punk or hardcore you won’t find it here, but if you’re a Cleveland punk mega-fan (particularly the weirder stuff from that scene) or you’re the person who seeks the weirdest, most surreal music you can find this may be something you can hang with.