Scarcity of Tanks – Sensational Grade

January 01, 1970

(Total Life Society)



Released this past September
but better late than never to pour on the accolades, Cleveland art-punk skuzzball
literati Scarcity of Tanks’ third LP Sensational Grade has nary registered as a
blip on the obligatory, self-indulgent year-end “best of” discs and with that unjust
omission the cred of the overblown list lexicon is thrown out the window.



The brainchild of poet/singer/songwriter Matthew Wascovich and
backed by a cast of Clevo-punk luminaries coming and going (Cobra Verde’s John
Petkovic and Scott Pickering of Prisonshake, amongst others), the balding
beardo remains SoT’s constant, as does his spitting out mouthfuls of gnarly
lyrical bombast as caustic yet super-catchy post-punk riffage in crunch
overdrive flails away, no matter who’s behind him.



Cuing the obvious Clevo-punk references, its lineage does loom
large in the SoT canon (John Morton of 70’s proto-punks electric eels is the
latest addition in Wascovich’s incarnation) but they have more in common with
the avant-garage noise attack of Rocket from the Tombs and Cobra Verde’s
arena-sized rawk lickery rather than
the idiosyncratic avant-gardist spews of Pere Ubu. Better yet, Wascovich proves
a descendent of SST Records’ glory years. The spoken-wordage sing-speak and bloozy
crud of tunes like “Deaf and Divided,” “Pill Hill,” “Blatant Memorial” and the
sick should-be-a-hit “Treble Lusty” would fit neatly next to Black Flag’s
all-instrumental blowups, fIREHOSE’s funky jangle and Saccharine Trust’s weirdo
contorts on Greg Ginn’s all-encompassing roster of visionaries.  



Wascovich shows no sign of slowing down either in 2012. On
January 22nd, his label Total Life Society(
will release two(!) brand new SoT LP’s featuring members of psych-proggers Oneida, punk-jazz legends
the Flying Luttenbachers, pioneering skronking free jazz terrorists
Borbetomagus and electric eels. Killer start to the New Year.





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