Split LP here, with one side taken up by Ben Lawless and the other by Squinchy. Lawless’ Friday Night 4 Lyfe side is a wild collage of breaks and reclaimed funk, while Squinchy’s Assorted Nuts side is a set of skronky solo song blasts, obliging frantic movement from the listener. 12” with a great sleeve, on Old Gold.
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- Friday Night 4 Lyfe / Assorted Nuts by Ben Lawless / Squinchy
8/10 Robin Staff review, 13 August 2015
To get on board with this record you have to accept making some logical sacrifices on your end, kinda like if you were to watch Twin Peaks; understand that there’s little reason or rhyme and live within the skronk-funk mysteries that Ben Lawless and Squinchy create. It starts invitingly enough, with Lawless’ side of the split feeling like a buffer -- he uses funky bass grooves and shaken jazz percussion to pander his way through a more ludicrous backdrop of unwinding (and then snapping) guitar solos and jangling, glassy sounds (the xylophone being bled through train tracks on the third track). Between his wack solos and his random abandonment of them, Lawless sounds like Beefheart doing Hendrix’s Woodstock set.
Flipping it over, out of the kindness of your heart, and look where it gets you. These songs indoctrinate you in the weird world of Squinchy, who start on a monotone rock tune relaying the same bassline over and over again as the band slowly unfold a gruesome, cannibalistic story. Squinchy are making an ugly, equally Beefheartian kind of sound but under the conditions of psych rock; their sound steers pretty steadfast through patient rhythms and stretched-out ideas, while also integrating riffs that flail in and out of the songs gracelessly (see “A Really Crazy Asshole” for further details). It’s tightly put together, but aestehtically, what a fucking mess: what band can sound like Unwound and a funk band in the same song? This one, apparently.
Jams without toast.
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