Artist: Warmduscher Album: Khaki Tears Label: Trashmouth For fans of: Sun City Girls, Fat White Family Standout Tracks: ‘The Salamander’, ‘Gold Teeth’ ‘Roger’s Gills’ Rating: ★★★★☆
A collaborative project between Saul and Jack of the Fat White Family and Clams Baker, it should be no surprise that pressing play and allowing yourself to be enveloped by KhakiTears isn’t an endeavour for the faint hearted. With a narcotic effect similar to that of Alice falling down her rabbit-hole, Warmduscher begin proceedings somewhat subtly by their standards (though not by anyone else’s), the anarchic garage-punk of opener ‘Johnny’s Blue Khaki’ is possibly the most digestible track on offer, trippy enough in its own right, but only the beginning of what quickly turns in to a chemical cacophony of off-kilter guitar hooks, warped vocals and synth loops.
Though each track on the record is markedly different from the next, the production is such that it’s best taken as a complete piece, rather than broken down in to individual vignettes, especially as more than half of them barely scrape the 90 second mark. As such, the band’s turbulent dystopia unravels rapidly; psychedelic jams segueing easily in to free-jazz break downs and passages of deranged, stream-of-conciousness spoken word.
Indeed, while the record might well share a similar metaphorical descent in to madness and paranoia to that of Lewis Carroll’s novel, where Carroll’s story drifted in an opiated haze, Khaki Tears sinks deeper in to a K-hole; it’s synthesised psychedelia making post-modern references to the likes of STD’s and George Carlin (‘Roger’s Gills’) in what could only be a product of the 21st century. With singles ‘The Salamander’, and the aforementioned ‘Johnny’s Blue Khaki’ having been premiered previously, those interested in expanding their mind can at least dabble with the gateway tracks before embracing the shamanic intensity of tracks like ‘Gold Teeth’ or the trippy disco of ‘Yolk Buns U.S.A’.
Fans of the Fat Whites will of course find a lot to love about Kahaki Tears, as will fans of the mind-expanding cocktails behind its creation. And it’s almost certainly a record best enjoyed with a weighty joint, at the very least. But, it’s also a record that’s unlikely to find much footing outside of its target audience, though cracking the mainstream was never its intention to begin with. Instead, it’s a record that rattles towards its close with little regard for sanity or convention, reaching its conclusion in under half an hour, before spitting out listeners looking wide-eyed and feeling cerebrally battered.
In honour of the album release, Warmduscher curated our homepage playlist and it sounds a little like this: