Milwaukee’s Galactic Cannibal have been getting two things mentioned about them, near as I can tell: first, they’re a side project from Direct Hit!’s guitarist and singer Nick Woods. Second, they sound a lot like Dillinger Four. The first point is relevant to the second, because Direct Hit! sounds nothing like D4, and I’m always a big fan of side projects when they don’t sound like a slightly tweaked version of the main draw (see also: everything Ben Weasel has ever done).
The title to Galactic Cannibal’s LP, We’re Fucked is pretty indicative of the band’s bleak worldview. These are harsh songs, delivered less by singing than by declamatory bark. It’s energetic, and moves forward briskly, but it is relentlessly unpleasant.
(Kind Of Like Records)
Here and there, I’ve been hearing about Direct Hit!. They’re a pop-punk band on a small label, meaning somebody in the group posts to the Pop Punk Bored, but as with most acts that only release stuff digitally, I found it hard to get excited. Occasionally, a band like Mixtapes or somebody will manage to intrigue me enough to download, unzip, and load into iTunes, but most bands get passed by. However, because of Mixtapes, I finally heard Direct Hit!, since both bands’ first physical release was a split 7″ on Kind Of Like Records. I was more impressed by Mixtapes’ songs, but Direct Hit! managed to interest me enough to keep an ear out.
Mixtapes blew my mind when they put their first release, Maps, online earlier this year. Writing about it for Wayward Blog, I said:
The band plays music that will draw you in, reminding you of that first time you heard one of those songs like the Replacements’ “I Will Dare” — a song that hits you in the gut, making your jaw drop.
You sit there, in front of your speakers, wondering why the hell this band isn’t currently the hot shit on Pitchfork.
Since then, they’ve released another Internet release, Thought About Growing Up (via Death to False Hope), and now they’re putting out their first physical release. It’s a split with Milwaukee’s Direct Hit! on Kind of Like Records, which should be out next month.
I’d suggest picking it up as soon as you can get your hot little hands on a copy. The bands each contribute one new song each — Direct Hit! does “Werewolf Shame” and Mixtapes have “I Was A Teenage Poltergeist” — and then they each cover the other’s song. I might be biased, but Mixtapes do the better job here. They show a lot more enthusiasm and verve than do Direct Hit!, taking the “Werewolf Shame” lyric “I don’t wanna hear ‘why don’t you cool it?'” and giving it some serious pathos. It’s a damned shame this short slab of pop-punk won’t be out until next month, as it’d be the perfect addition to any Halloween soundtrack.
MP3: Mixtapes, “Werewolf Shame”