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Little Claw - Human Taste

  by Jon Rogers

published: 6 / 10 / 2009

Little Claw - Human Taste
Label: Ecstatic Peace
Format: CD


Accomplished, yet unoriginal-sounding No Wave-influenced lo-fi noise rock on third album from Portland, Oregon-based group,Little Claw

US’s Little Claw scream, shout and stomp with the best of New York’s No Wave scene, mixing up the likes of Mars, DNA and the inevitable early Sonic Youth as well as lesser known names like Rhys Chatham. But instead of inhabiting some Manhattan loft they hail from Portland, Oregan via Michigan. But while fired up with the short-lived but highly influential No Wave scene they add a serving of Riot Grrrl into the mix via Bikini Kill and Bratmobile. ‘Human Taste’ is a whole load of lo-fi psycho-noise from start to finish and it’s hardly populist but Little Claw are accomplished at what they do, if they lack originality. A screaming vocal here, a distorted, screeching guitar over there and a relentless Moe Tucker drum beat holding it all together. Where Little Claw come into their own are with the two lengthier compositions ‘Breathing Tape’ and ‘Golden Boy’on this album. Both are accomplished free form work outs with the former even having a touch of the 13th Floor Elevators about it as it has a hint of psychedelia. Soon though it’s all a heady cacophony of screeching, distorted guitars and a militaristic drum beat. ‘Golden Boy’ is perhaps as conventional a song the group can write – which actually isn’t that conventional at all – dominated by a whining organ that shuffles along and Kilynn Lunsford’s clearly out-of-tune vocals but it all trundles along, slowly building tension but keeps itself restrained. For most of the time ‘Human Trade’ is percussion heavy (having, effectively, two drummers) and driven by a metronomic pulse. It’s good to see that someone is keeping the spirit of No Wave alive but the casual listener may want to go back to the likes of the Theoretical Girls and the Contortions first.

Track Listing:-
1 Human Taste
2 Frankie
3 Frozen In The Future
4 Modern Vampire
5 Lay To Waste
6 Colors You Drown
7 Slow Sticky Tornado
8 Summerphile
9 Breathing Tape
10 Golden Boy
11 Human Taste (Below The Tide)

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