“Burn” In the Unruly Fires of Polluted Noise Rock by Ugly Twin (music video premiere)


Recently I noticed a little drama on Twitter about someone declaring the tapes “outdated” – now, as with any internet drama, this should largely not impact your life and be avoided at all costs. But the crash raised an interesting duality: From a data storage perspective, the tape is definitely obsolete. The limited density of data, the need to rewind it, and its susceptibility to degradation make it a poor candidate for attempting to authentically store anything, music or otherwise. However, its value as a musical medium is actually reinforced through it all, it’s a low-cost vessel for music that provides an intentionally imperfect, non-optimized way to deliver music to listeners.

Truth be told, some music seems just made for the cassette, like the industrial noise rock trio from Baltimore ugly twinthe forthcoming self-titled debut album from (which is indeed receiving a tape release). This is not a record that aims to transmit a carefully calibrated set of frequencies with minimal distortion, fine-tuned in a pristine environment for maximum fidelity. No, ugly twin is a loud, breathy celebration of gloriously flawed rock, a monument built from hissing, rumbling blocks of indulgent noise. This should be run on a tape deck salvaged by Goodwill, where the circuitry regulating the balance of high and low frequencies has long since failed and at least one or two buttons don’t work properly. But, in a pinch, it also goes great with weird music videos, so here’s one for the band’s debut single “Burn.”

True to its name, “Burn” sounds like it’s being played from a burning stereo system, always seeming to wobble as if the motor propelling its tape is about to stop any second at a time. another and succumb to the flames. It never does, however, pugnaciously stomping on the mechanical beat of a drum machine as fuzzy rhythm guitar and even fuzzier leads conspire to drown out the track’s howling vocals. Like the tires rolling down the ramps in its video, only much more edgy, “Burn” is unstoppable and continuous.

ugly twin releases November 22 with a limited cassette via Anathemata Editions.