January 21, 2012

Pop. 1280

If AwkwardSound was pressed to pick one label that's having a huge influence on new music today, that honor would have to go to NYC-based indie sanctuary, Sacred Bones. From the likes of perennial AS listmaker Zola Jesus, BUZZSounds and breakthroughs Cult of Youth and The Men, the label has its hands on the dial with a varying degree of engrossing dark listens. Pop. 1280 is the latest band destined to crack through the surface, and like The Men and fellow noisemakers Pregnant, Nomos and other like-minded acts infamously spotlighted in an NY Post article back in 2010 about the reemergence of artsy NYC hardcore, they're bringing that scene outside the city limits through a dangerous assault of scuzzy, bastardized post-apocalyptic punk rock (a sound they've deemed as "cyberpunk," which adds to the assertion that they formed in "2099.") Currently Pop. 1280 consists of founding members and primary songwriters Chris Bug and Ivan Lip, with drummer Zach Ziemann and bassist / "sound manipulator" Pascal Ludet having recently joined the effort. Their namesake -- culled from the title of a psychotic crime novel written by Jim Thompson -- does them justice in sinister fashion. Sloppy guitar shifts amped up to the red-level alongside viscious drums have drawn Pop. 1280 comparisons to '80s NYC noise rock and no wave stalwarts who melded hardcore, art rock and a damning vision of the city (i.e. early Sonic Youth and Swans.) The quartet has thus far released a few 7" singles, splits and an EP in 2010's Grid, but with their debut full-length, The Horror arriving January 24th on Sacred Bones (streaming in its entirety right now at Spin.com,) look for 2012 to take a turn for the excellently weird once Pop. 1280's bad moon rises.

Pop. 1280 - "Bodies in the Dunes"

Pop. 1280 - "Thirteen Steps"

"West World" (Live at Shea Stadium, NYC)

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