Indian Jewelry

I’ll be as up-front as I can as to the reason why I’ve neglected to put Indian Jewelry, or Swarm of Angels, or NTX + Electric, or NTX + Erika Thrasher, or Nikki Texas up here: I have no freakin’ idea how to describe ’em. All these bands (they’ve also gone by the names Corpses of Waco, Turquoise Diamonds, or The Perpetual War Party Band, apparently) are basically the same free-flowing crew of people, as far as I can tell — the whole mess is headed up by ex-Japanic frontman Tex Kerschen, and he and vocalist/guitarist/synth player Erika Thrasher seem to be pretty much the only uniting threads throughout.

So, since I’m finally writing this, that must mean I’ve come up with a way to talk about IJ/etc.’s music, right? Um, not really. The best I can do is describe it as a mess of feedback noise, bizarre synths, dark, threatening atmosphere a la Motherhead Bug, Suicide-/VU-esque “detached” vocals, and sharp-edged guitars. What it is, really, is the creepiest, most unsettling dance music (yes, dance music) you’ll ever run across. Take one listen to this crew’s debut CD (as NTX + Electric, pre- the change to Indian Jewelry), We Are The Wild Beast, if you don’t believe me — it’s dark, disturbing, possibly even headache-inducing, and still frighteningly rhythmic. It makes me think, actually, of the cooler end of the more bizarre stuff I used to hear (and play) back when I was a KTRU DJ, during the station’s infamous “Noise Period.” There’re bits of Skinny Puppy-type industrial noise floating around in there, tribal-sounding drumming, some broken David Bowie glam-rock, oddly understated Morphine-ish saxophones, and yes, even some truly beautiful rock moments (“Looking At You,” for one).

If the above doesn’t sound appealing to you, well, that’s your call. I’m not generally a fan of weirdness for weirdness’ sake, though, and I can’t help but find the Indian Jewelry somehow fascinating. It’s weird, yes, but it almost feels like it’s weird with a plan, which makes it a hell of a lot cooler. They’ve got a bunch of stuff out, primarily on their own GirlGang Records and Tapes, including a split 7″ with The Sugarbeats, another all-them 7″ called in love with loving, their latest full-length CD release, Invasive Exotics (released on Monitor Recs, actually), the Swarm of Angels Plessure EP, the NTX CDEP Lil Electrodes, two NTX/Erika Thrasher 7″s, and a new CD-R compilation that collects all of the “old” stuff in one place as Sangles Redux. And, uh, there might be more stuff I don’t know about — with all the names, it’s a little hard to keep track, y’know? At any rate, buy whatever you can of it, listen to it, and check ’em out live when you get a chance.

Tex and Erika moved out for a year or three to the Hell-A area, by the by, splitting their time between here & there, but we just got word that they’re now officially back in town, ditching the grimy shine of Cali for, uh, the plain-ol’ grime of H-town. Good to have y’all back.

Band writeup by . Band writeup posted Friday, July 15th, 2011. Filed under Bands, Features.

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2 Responses to “Balaclavas”

  1. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Iceage + Balaclavas + The Energy + Invincible Czars + Illegal Wiretaps + More on July 15th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    […] Balaclavas don’t play very often (meaning once or twice a year, it seems like), and they’re fucking incredible live, I swear to whatever deity you hold dear. They’re utterly hypnotic to watch, but dangerous and murky at the same time, like you’re being mesmerized by some exotic breed of deadly snake a la Kaa in The Jungle Book. Before you know it, they’ve pummeled you into submission. (And yes, I finally added these guys to the Featured Bands list; check out the little profile-type thing over here.) […]

  2. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 3: Balaclavas + Venomous Maximus + The Hunger + Faceplant + More on September 4th, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    […] Holiday is excellent, witnessing the band live is even better. See our recent writeup of the band over here for […]

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