Day 249 – #304. Sex Positions – Sex Positions

Sex Positions - Sex Positions Album Review

You guys ever tried to move out of state? How about 900 miles away?

It’s a beast of an operation. I’m finding this out first hand.

Tomorrow I move to Washington, DC, to begin interning for NPR‘s All Songs Considered slash NPR Music.

Today has been spent figuring out the logistics of the remainder of my belongings.

I will revisit Sex Positions’ incredible eponymous hardcore punk album tomorrow, promise.

Revisited, September 7, in part from Tampa International Airport and Washington, DC

I am writing this from gate F84, preparing to fly out to Ronald Reagan airport in Washington, DC.

I’ve only ever had a layover in DC, so living there for 4 months while interning for NPR should be a trip. I also never got that firsthand “going away to college” experience, so we’ll substitute for that all these years later. And I’ve never been in an area of the country to see the leaves change either, which is just the icing on the proverbial autumn cake. Something something, Splendid Table.

As promised, yesterday’s album was the first (and only, sadface) from Deathwish noise punk band Sex Positions. Despite the naughty name, the only thing sensual about Sex Positions is the cover art.

Sex Positions is a refreshing take on noise-influenced hardcore punk. But bandleader Rich Perusi and the rest of the… I’m guessing Positions?… rest not on those simple laurels, infusing a brand of experimental ambient, at times quite abrasive, to overcome the status quo.

The album, released in 2004, sounds just as good almost a decade later. Because of this project, I’m learning a lot about the questionable current state of music by listening to albums from many different time periods*, and it feels like the early portion of the first decade of the 2000s was a period of time unlike any we’ve experienced before in modern agressive/heavy/loud music (whatever you wanna call it), one we might not ever see again.

For being such a noisy punk band, what is most unique about Sex Positions is their use of this strange, static-y, digital sampling – the best comparison is the horrendous sound that accompanies TV noise. Except, yanno, not horrible.

Opener “Commit It” uses this effect, and manipulated versions are found on “Arphodite Dear” and other quick snippets throughout. It’s just enough of a unique characteristic to differentiate from other noise bands like No Age, and I’m thankful that the group doesn’t overuse it.

Elsewhere, the opening four tracks of this record (“Commit It,” “You Better Start Running,” “Worse than the Plague” and the aforementioned “Aphrodite Dear”) alone make the whole album worth it. Everything else is just bonus points, and that killer breakdown on “Sleeping” is overwhelming.

Sex Position’s most curious track is “The Dead Lay Very Still.” At track 7, it acts as sort of the turn toward the home stretch, a palate cleansing 4 minutes of electronic sampling that noodles around, at times like a UFO taking off (do UFOs take off?) but then anchored by, surprisingly, a harmonica. It feels other worldly, and not just because it’s an ambient track a la Converge alum Jacob Bannon’s Wear Your Wounds side project. Killer.

This is one of the criminally underrated punk albums that I’ve ever heard. It’s a shame the band was one and done after it, because it’s super original and slays. Highly recommended.

From Sex Positions, this is “Aphrodite Dear” –

Standout tracks: “Aphrodite Dear,” “Commit It,” “Worse Than the Plague” and “Ruined”
Weakest track: “Doors Are Harder to Slam in the Summer”

RIYL: Post-punk, hardcore, hardcore punk, noise. Some Girls, Give Up the Ghost, Wear Your Wounds.


*Quick side note: I’m doing the same thing for television, however strange that sounds. On the plane ride up here, I watched half of the first season of MTV’s cult programme The State (and as a big fan of Reno 911! and Stella, I don’t know how I had managed to avoid it up to that point). I started watching the Bill Corbett as Crow-era of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 in order. I was trying to sift through Kids in the Hall’s first season a couple weeks ago. Writing has changed so, so much in 20 years. Still formulating an opinion on how I feel about that.


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