Triclops! – Helpers on the Other Side

January 01, 1970

(Alternative Tentacles)

 

 

www.alternativetentacles.com

 

 

 

If you hang around old punk rockers,
you’re almost guaranteed to hear some griping about the sorry state of the
genre these days. While many of these crabs mean “there aren’t any bands that
sound exactly like those I grew up with,” a few nostalgists are more interested
in searching out new bands that evoke an energy or attitude that seems to have
gone missing.

 

In the case of Bay Area punks Triclops!,
it’s pretty clear these guys fall into the latter category. Although they’re
certainly not geriatric, the members of Triclops! obviously miss seeing and
hearing punk bands that can (a) play their instruments well, and, (b) rip your
fucking face off with chaotic blasts of tightly-wound pigfuck nihilism. The
very presence of Victims Family bassist Larry Boothroyd should give some
indication as to the level of musical complexity in which these guys are
indulging, but it’s the sweaty, red-faced wails of vocalist Johnny Geek – which
somehow meld the tuneless beauty of Jello Biafra and the
stick-his-balls-in-your-face confrontationalism of David Yow – that seal the
deal.

 

Triclops! jam odd time signatures and
furious walls of noise into a weird blend of prog intricacy and punk violence,
and for their second album, the band seems to have actually increased the
dosage of both ingredients. Although it only features nine tracks, there are
enough melodies, structures, and tempos on Helpers
on the Other Side
to fuel five times that many songs. On only one cut
(“Homage to Monte Cassino”) does the band lose their way in their own maze,
getting bogged down in so much filigreed prettiness and acoustic wonkery that
the song’s more assaultive bits lose the war of dynamics. Throughout the rest
of the disc, though, Triclops! engages in a fairly relentless attack that,
thanks to their willingness to be both challenging and vicious, manages to be
nostalgic for all the right reasons.

 

 

Standout
Tracks:
“Send Conan
Home,” “Glaciers (Cry of the Modern Neanderthal”) JASON FERGUSON

 

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