Blue Dolphin Robert’s Lafitte LP

Robert’s Laffite rounds up three small-run cassettes and a few previously unreleased tracks from this Houston/Austin quartet, who existed for a short spell (2016–2017) around its members’ stints in big-deal ’10s DIY sensations like MYSTIC INANE, PATSY, INSTITUTE, C.C.T.V., CHRONOPHAGE, etc. (and that’s just the abridged list). Vocalist Sarah Sissy’s delivery has a blasé, almost Su Tissue-ish edge, standing strong as the eye of the storm while the rest of the band spirals into wild, detuned abandon with the pointed primitivism of the URINALS, some MINUTEMEN-inspired trebly breakneck grooves, and a sheet of blotter paper worth of sun-baked eccentricity à la early MEAT PUPPETS—the freewheeling art-punk scramble of “Cindy” and “Ida” melts down into the dusty twang-pop of “Buying Time” and “Virginal Mystery,” with tracks like “Emerald Cherry” and “Licking & Kissing” left to gallop in the spaces in between, presaging (just barely) Houston’s fellow blink-and-you-missed-them Keats Rides a Harley resurrectionists VIVIENNE STYG. The recordings are emphatically lo-fi, buried deep in layers of tape hiss and analog warble, and listening to Robert’s Laffite is an almost voyeuristic experience of picking out distinct forms from little more than shadows and light, but rewarding one at that.