Message From The Kid From Brooklyn
Is this a typo on the Black Cat site, or are they being serious? I just did a triple-take, clicked on the links from the schedule a few times to make sure, and apparently it’s legit: Robert Pollard’s Boston Spaceship will be playing the mainstage on Saturday evening, supported by Miami noise-punk scoundrels Laundry Room Squelchers.
No, I’m not a Guided By Voices fanboy geekin’ over another Bob Pollard incarnation; the real cause for excitement (well, for me) is the presence of Miami-based madman Rat Bastard’s nebulous Squelchers unit, one of the most unpredictable outfits in all of noise’s underbelly. A founding member of the despicable To Live and Shave in LA, Mr. Bastard (Frank Falestra to Mom) has been cracking heads, bursting eardrums, and causing structural damage in shitty clubs for decades, most recently with his sprawling International Noise Conference, which touts: “No droning, no mixing boards, no laptops.”
I had the opportunity to see the Squelchers at last year’s No Future Fest in Chapel Hill, NC, where a burly man with black-rimmed glasses and beanie (Rat Bastard) hurled his static-spewing amplifier into the faces and chests of audience members. You can imagine my intrigue then, at the juxtaposition of such confrontational guitar trash and hook-laden pop-punk for Saturday’s bill, though it makes a bit more sense after some Googling and a visit to the Squelchers site. Pollard and Falestra have actually collaborated before — back in 2003 for Pollard’s Motel of Fools EP. And since the “Laundry Room Squelchers” are basically anyone who can/will tour with Mr. Bastard at the time, the lineup for Saturday will consist solely of Falestra and local guitar/electronics whiz Chris Grier, also a collaborator with TLASILA. Given that this is basically an indie rock showcase, I imagine the Squelchers set will be significantly less violent and involve a more stationary guitar assault. But you never know, heads might roll. (City Paper Washington DC / by Cole Goins Sep. 26 2008)
The Squelchers’ set is largely a visual experience. There’s sound, lots of it, at high volume, but it washes over you while you watch the musicians go through a stream of rock performance gestures in exaggerated and absurd form combined with Jerry Springer show chaos. Rat plays guitar, and strides out into the audience on stiff legs. Leslie Keffer flings her head and long hair down, but in slow motion, or turns to the audience in a dramarama confrontational way. And one of the other women wrestles on the ground with Kate, from the noise community here in Nashville, who stormed in and threw herself into it. The set is relentless, loud and leering.
LRS's set was a great wall-of-sound & stobe light pulsation. Leslie Keffer had two black eyes apparently from a show in Alabama. amps migrated around the room, everyone became completely disoriented.
Honesty is one of the defining qualities of noise music, an honesty and openness so extreme that it is basically dysfunctional in conventional settings, especially conventional music business settings. Noise music says isn’t it fun to turn the volume up real loud, aren’t women with guitars sexy, aren’t the poses of rock performers completely ridiculous, doesn’t the sound quality of a screech break your heart.........David Maddox June 2005
The second night got off to a dizzying start. Laundry Room Squelchers, a Florida collective made up of least 15 members (many of them likely temporary), scattered themselves around the fringes of Northsix's main space. After friendly warnings to those unfortunate enough to be standing in the proximity of strategically placed amps, the band attacked their gear. Noisemaker-bearing instrumentalists wove their way through the crowd, dragging audience members into the fray with their trailing cords. The music amounted to little more than a sustained roar, and it all crashed into a splay-legged and unkempt-hair pile in the middle of the floor. To be in the crowd was to not know which way was forward or backward while being swept up in a chaos that had, despite its illusive tameness, moments of real menace.
(New York Press / No Fun Fest 2004)
The Squelchers were entertaining, no doubt. But to call it fucking amazing seems absurd to me. Wanna see a bunch drunks with no inhibitions? It's not hard, in fact get drunk sometime and find out how easy it is. Now, if the Squelchers were stone cold sober and acted like scientists or zen priests all night, and THEN the show was exactly like it was, I would call it fucking amazing--that would be a treat.
(Quacky and Pidgeys big huge club 4/7/00)
Just a couple days ago I was overhearing these two co-workers talk about music. Hey, it's all music! I can appreciate all types of music, I've got an open mind about it." Oh great, I'm thinking, you've got an open mind! Well, I've got some shit you can borrow by Caroliner Rainbow Stewed Angel Skins, or how about some mp3's by The Laundry Room Squelchers? Or no, no, you've gotta check out this Ilhan Mimaroglu record....What's that, you're not familiar with the 1960s Turkish 'compositions for magnetic tape' scene? Well, it should be perfect for an open-minded music lover like yourself!
Lou Reed did a feedback record that lives on as one of the most reviled discs in the history of rock. Neil Young did one that was, surprisingly, a bit more musical. What makes Laundry Room Squelchers think that anyone would be interested in the same shit without any name recognition? There's nothing musical about a wall of feedback.
An embodiment of obliterated rock and roll from Miami Beach. A disharmonic convergence is derived from traditional instruments, bizarre electronic gadgets, and anything else that might help create some of the most unusual junk sounds this side of a train wreck.