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For the past couple of weeks my playlist has taken a turn for the bipolar, whipping back and forth between black metal (Mayhem, Spektr, the first Behemoth record) and some of the new wave of psychedelia (White Magic, MV & EE). It may be that I've just absorbed enough of each to start messing with my mental faculties, but I see a lot in common between the two styles. Bands on both ends tend to value texture over melody, to view their music as a means for spiritual exploration, and -- if you listen to them in large enough doses -- to be sort of tiring to listen to. Which may explain why I find myself loading Lost Penguin's MySpace page as often as I do. They isolate the snottiest elements of riot grrl, electroclash, and screamo and combine them into little blasts of brilliance with what seems to be the intent to define as precisely as possible the razor-thin line between good punk and absolute obnoxiousness. Or they're just trying to be the funnest band around. Maybe I'm just reading too much into it.
Some of their accomplishments so far:
• Jacking the title from an R. Kelly inspiration jam for a song about getting dosed with LSD.
• Being the first band I've ever seen described -- accurately -- as a cross between Aphex Twin and Huggy Bear.
• Having the funniest MySpace URL of any band I've ever seen.
It's possible that the American indie scene's been sufficiently primed by CSS to give Lost Penguin some success over here, but given my horrendous record in calling the next underground UK rock band to break through here, I sort of doubt it.