Rearranged Face A Rare Caged Fern 12″
The third release from Tomothy Records, continuing their locals-only focus on committing overlooked corners of the modern Los Angeles weird-punk underground to vinyl—one where entirely analog processes are used from start to finish for every component of their records, which are then packaged in exquisitely designed and printed sleeves, a reminder of what the term “DIY” actually meant before it was co-opted into a meaningless genre catch-all for bands trying to climb the status ladder. REARRANGED FACE shares at least one member with L.A.’s reigning Messthetics obsessives SHARK TOYS, and both groups definitely have a similar nervous, wound-up disposition. There’s some gestures toward DEVO in the anxiously hiccuped vocals, wavering synth lines, and deconstructed but thoroughly locked-in rhythms of tracks like “Titular Story” and “Dreadful Apparition,” but fortunately without any of the forced, egg-caked cartoonishness that too often accompanies a DEVO comparison in a post-CONEHEADS punk landscape, while “Chin Brute” works up some kicked-out disco beats and sharp cuts of guitar that could have been lifted from the other side of a split single with any number of late ’90s/early ’00s Southern Californian post-punk revival acts (GOGOGO AIRHEART, the RAPTURE, you get it). Certified flipped-out fun for art freaks and closet new wavers alike.