In the neon light
You look so right
You snooze you lose
It’s turning on
In a languid neon haze, one’s momentary lapse becomes their loss. A fleeting tune taunts, underscoring life’s ephemeral glow. And amidst it all, a mocking laughter echoes, reminding of opportunities missed…all because you had to go to work at a job you can’t stand. How deliciously tragic.
Toronto Psych Fuzz Rockers Hot Garbage announce a new single, “Snooze You Lose.” The single delivers a dynamite jolt, zipping past with manic chuckles, sharp punk licks, and distinctively eccentric production from Holy Fuck’s Graham Walsh. This gritty, mocking tune does more than merely dazzle — it sends your senses spinning, thanks to thunderous beats, supremely warped bass, guitar, and organ, and echoing voices floating over a foreboding surge of sound and resonance. Aficionados of those reminiscent of Sonic Youth, Frankie and the Witch Fingers, or Joy Division might fancy a befuddled amble through this passionate, albeit bleak, piece; a touching clarity is on the horizon.
“It’s about how time passes when you stand still,” says the band.”Sometimes all you can do is laugh.”
Wielding cardboard instruments and donning balaclavas, the band seizes the night in their video with distorted sounds, echoing vocals, and a dizzying foray into the drudgery of being a cog in the wheel of late capitalism.
“Here, Hot Garbage can be seen playing completely real instruments in their day-to-day attire,” comments director Alex Carlevaris. “Seen in the video is: a live performance, a swing set, and a candid perspective of the daily grind. The video, with a budget of under $50 (mostly spent on fake blood), was shot on a cheap plastic toy camera and uses homemade props and movements from the camera and lights, resulting in a frantic, lo-fi presentation that is playful yet intense.”
Between performance cuts by these corrugated cardboard maestros, we see glimpses of disembodied hands furiously typing at a keyboard as it becomes soaked in blood. A Lady Macbeth moment, or the ultimate martyr to productivity? Maybe it’s time for a union-sanctioned nap.
Hot Garbage sways into a potent, yet unmistakably flavorful blend of sound. Tapping into the relentless beats of somber post-punk and the pulse of krautrock, this Toronto crew weaves luminous tunes and twisty patterns into intentional, contemplative layouts. Those with a penchant for the likes of Sonic Youth, Broadcast, or the ’70s strains of Iggy Pop will surely recognize a tug towards their unrefined resonance, plucked from an expansive and varied musical and artistic palette.
After unveiling the “Max Blonda” EP in late 2017 and “Coco’s Paradise” in spring 2019, Hot Garbage made their way to the studio with Walsh. Early 2020 saw them recording a slew of pieces in real-time. The outcome? A fiery independent track, “Easy Believer,” and the ensemble’s premier full-length piece, “RIDE“— a 33-minute reverberating affair destined for vinyl, debuted under Mothland in October 2021.
Though the ensemble’s familiar brooding touch lingers in “Precious Dream,” Hot Garbage’s imminent second record veers swiftly into a murkier realm of intense post-punk vibes, wrestling with the spectres of despair, grief, human tenacity, and the wild swings of being alone. From the start, these stark, elegant sound structures set the scene for an escapade, with Alex and Juliana Carlevaris, not to mention Dylan Gamble, offering enigmatic lyrical hints. By the finale, we’re ensconced in an odd yet pleasing emptiness, but possessed by a nagging wish to wander back into their bewitching 36-minute musical snare.
Precious Dream is set to drop on January 19 via Mothland (NA) and Exag’ Records (EU/UK). The LP was produced By Holy F*ck’s Graham Walsh.
Post-Punk.com had a few questions for the band about their intriguing DIY video.
The new single, along with its video, really lean into the ideas of villainy and chaos. What is it about those concepts that intrigue you as a band?
The story of heroes and villains will always be so powerful. I think it’s fun to acknowledge the natural attraction to chaos and our inner villain. It’s also such a great vehicle to make a subversive statement. Villains are cool.
The new album is a bit of a departure from your earlier works, leaving behind many of the psych-rock elements and turning to something much more aggressive. How did that change come about?
The last few years have been really intense for everyone and I think it changed us all. As a band, we were left feeling grateful for the opportunity to see each other and play together. But we all went through a lot and I think it changed what we wanted to say. Some serious feelings!
You’ve worked with the excellent producer Graham Walsh on this upcoming album as well as on your debut. What’s it like working with Walsh in the studio, and how has it affected the band’s sound?
Graham is such a good combination of great at what he does and cool to hang with. We have a blast working with him. It’s fascinating to bring material to him with a vision and see how it’s interpreted. He’s open to adding his own creative twist production-wise and it’s really cool to see where he goes when he gets into the zone. Album to album we’ve also been getting to know each other better and building chemistry, which makes things smoother and more relaxed.
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