New Plastic Ideas – week of May 24 2012

“Rrrrgh.” That’s how I’d describe Natural History the newest from Baltimore’s Dope Body . These guys play ugly sledgehammer noise-rock à la any number of ’90s AmRep bands (with just a touch of the Jesus Lizard) but I’d only recommend Natural History to fetishists of the genre — beyond a few token drum tics and some decent scraping feedback tones there really isn’t much that holds up to scrutiny here. This plodding thump of an album would be great for stoner cavemen but you might just be better off hoping for a new Pissed Jeans record instead.

Speaking of dope bodies Drag City has also put out The Thought Adjusters : four sides of newly unearthed material from Father Yod and the Source Family . A “cult” band in more than just the figurative sense (The Source Family was one of the more well-known California hippie communes formed in the 1970s) this psychedelic commune led by Father Yod (a.k.a. Ya Ho Wha; né Jim Baker) self-released many of its albums in the mid-’70s with money from Yod’s popular organic vegetarian restaurant. With that brief history and song titles like “The Goddess Earth (All My Sons are Jesus)” and “Seed of Yahowha” I’m not even going to bother listing how many drugs you’ll need to make sense of this one.

Los Angeles noise-dance dudes HEALTH recently put together the soundtrack for Rockstar Games’ Max Payne 3 . I can’t comment on how the music fits with the game experience (anybody want to comp me the game and an Xbox?) but the soundtrack itself sees release this week so HEALTH fans here’s the deal: it’s gritty dystopian soundtrack music which is to say mostly instrumental and “atmospheric” in however many adjectives. HEALTH tastefully brings the thunder when necessary (especially on the drums) but don’t expect much for “songs” aside from “Tears” — a soundtrack tends to be in the background no? Not sure if I’d listen to this on its own all that often but I can imagine this being totally badass in the game.

Which brings us to Not Your Kind of People a new album from Garbage . Yes Garbage. I initially wrote a biting line about ’90s band reunions here but then I found out that Garbage never really broke up. Who knew? My teenage self probably heard “I Think I’m Paranoid” a hundred times because of Gran Turismo 2 on Playstation about a decade ago and much of Not Your Kind of People reminds me of that evoking an isolated straight-outta-Y2K sort of feeling — i.e. it’s new but sounds dated like it was taken out of cold storage. Obviously your opinion of ’90s electro-rock will decide whether that’s a good or bad thing but whatever the case stay away from that atrocious opening track.