Hair Police – Mortuary Servants 7”
Gods of Tundra/Freedom From, 2002
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2013
Despite the awesome black metal font and design of this 7”s cover, Hair Police are a noise band. I was just curious. One of my favorite things about 7”s is that you can just drop a buck or two on something that looks cool. It’s not a financial investment or something that’ll leave you kicking yourself at the end of the day. This particular band of skronky miscreants hails from Lexington, KY. Their music sounds like Wolf Eyes. Pretty much all noise bands sound like Wolf Eyes in my head. This band features a former member of Wolf Eyes, so there you go. It also features members of Burning Star Core, which is the other noise band I know. I haven’t the finely tuned sense of musical adventurism it takes to appreciate this stuff. I recognize it’s function and its boundary pushing form, but I would never go out of my way to listen to this stuff. I think this is at least partially due to the fact that the big noise music advocate at KJHK was a colossal jerk and I was severely annoyed that he would push dissonant noise records into spotlight rotation. It struck me as extremely misguided. While one of KJHK’s functions is to broaden the horizons of its listeners and expose them to music they wouldn’t hear elsewhere, if I played the title track of this 7” on the radio I guarantee 99% of listeners would tune out. There is a place for noise music in the world, but that place is in some adventurous music nerd’s headphones or a venue where people know what they are getting into. On the radio it feels like being alienating for the sake of alienation. It feels weird espousing such conservative views about art, and I’m sure there’s a counterargument to the necessity of noise on the radio. For instance, there’s plenty of music that has noise-based elements or veers toward the more pleasant-sounding ambient spectrum that would be radio friendly, it’s just this extreme shit I’ve gotta beef with. That said, I don’t hate this 7”. “Mortuary Servants” is a violent electronic mash and I appreciate the band’s attempt to push their sound to the outer rings of the musical spectrum. The b-side “Rare Animals” is either designed to fuck with you via infinite locked grooves or my copy of the record is messed up. It’s probably the latter, although in this wild, weird world of noise music I wouldn’t put it past a band to fuck with me in such a way.