If you search for albums tagged "San Diego" on Bandcamp, you'll find some interesting stuff. In this semi-regular report, we sift through recent postings and relay the findings.

Nevercrown, Temblad: This is a pretty uncompromising set of music. It's intense, technical and rhythmically complex death metal that's enjoyably evil while sounding pretty difficult to play. It's always easier for me to respect this kind of music than actually get into it, simply because the technical stuff is so nerdy. But this is pretty awesome.

Working Gears, Mazixion: Only two of the six tracks on this EP extend beyond two minutes, and most of them are highly unsettling, however brief. Each track is a slice of experimental IDM, with lots of noise and discordant effects taking over. In fact, I dare say one shouldn't listen to this with headphones on, because it might be painful. However, the vintage Aphex Twin style of "Iterative" hits all the right notes.

Sweeter EP, Elliot Rappaport: I mostly listened to this for the drawing of the man-eating plant on the cover. Boy, was this not what I was expecting. Singer/songwriter Elliot Rappaport sings schmaltzy American Idol or Glee style ballads that aren't terribly complicated but are definitely overdone. Rappaport seems to find a way to turn one note into 12, which is fine if you're Mariah Carey, but he could benefit from toning it down a bit.

C2, Collar John: Instrumental hip-hop with lots of weird, disorienting edits and interesting vocal chop-ups. A lot of the songs on this mixtape have numbers such as 90 or 95 in the title, though I doubt the tracks date back 20-25 years. The production quality sounds too modern. In any case, a fun set of beat-laden instrumentals.

The Chorus, Contact: The members of Contact are credited not only by their instruments but by their vocal range (tenor, alto and soprano, for what it's worth). That's pretty important to understanding the band, whose vocals are all three-part harmonies, despite being a pretty roaring punk/alt-rock outfit. Their songs are dense and chunky, but their singing style is layered and otherworldly. I'm not sure I've ever heard a band that so consistently features this kind of vocal layering in quite this way, and it's pretty interesting. Contact certainly has my interest.


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