Hot Guts: Edges LP (Blind Prophet Records, 2012)
First LP by a Philly post-punk group, on the Blind Prophet label (run by Sean Ragon of Cult Of Youth), which also released an excellent LP of hypnotic, trancey minimal-synth industrial dance by Future Blondes. Haven’t heard much of the rest of the label’s output, but Pop. 1280 is also on there, and they’re Sacred Bones labelmates with Culf Of Youth. Also, Pop. 1280 did a split 7″ with Hot Guts in 2010. Anyway, this Hot Guts LP has really nice packaging; clear, marbled vinyl and a glossy gatefold sleeve, plus a download code. Lots of work put into the design here. The cover is just a stark black void surrounded by flames, plants and sand. Musically, it has pounding deathrock drums, dark (but not overtly gothy) vocals, and some snarling synths, but not on every track. “Unawares” brings in some witch-house-esque slow, detailed drum machine beats, blending guitars and synths which coil around each other. “The Ballad Of John Simon” is surprisingly anthemic, heartfelt school-dance type of number, with pounding tom-tom drums and Peter Hook-ish guitar. The second side starts with a fast drum-machine-led synth-pop song which inevitably reminds me of “Maniac”, but the vocals sound closer to Peter Murphy, and it’s obviously a much different atmosphere. Nice arpeggiated synths and more killer New Order-y guitar. Song ends abruptly, and then there’s another slow, minimal drum-machine-led one, which features labelmate Void Vision. Album closer “Small Brass Cage” is tense, bloody and a bit perverse. Slow pounding drums, but quick monotonous vocals, followed by slower, chanted ones, and anxious synths. After the vocals end, the rhythm keeps going, and some of the synths seem to fly off their hinges. Madness.