The VSS: "Lunar Weight" (Live, 1997)

90s synth punkers, The VSS, are reissuing their discography, Nervous Circuits + 25:37, via Sargent House on November 27th.  Below is a clip of the band performing the song, "Lunar Weight," in 1997 at Philadelphia's First Unitarian Church. 

All info and links were provided by Us/Them Group.

Influential synth-punk band The VSS announce deluxe 2xLP discography reissue

Click image above to watch live video

"The VSS invented a fierce, highly unconventional sound unlike that of any other contemporary band. Theirs was a maelstrom of hard punk energy comprised of dissonant guitar, bass, drums, as well as keyboards. The result was something organic and angry and intensely human, but it was laced with a sharp, robotic edge. On all of their releases The VSS effortlessly overstep the boundaries of all traditional rock formats (and that includes punk rock), producing one explosive sonic exorcism after another." -- 

Fabled San Francisco art-punks The VSS announce the deluxe reissue of the band's studio discography via Sargent House. Back in print on vinyl for the first time since its original release in 1997, Nervous Circuits is the highly influential sole full length album by The VSS. This double LP reissue is paired with 25:37, an expanded edition of the band's singles collection 21:51, which was previously only available on CD.

Nervous Circuits is available for streaming HERE. Watch live videos of "I Cut My Teeth" (VIDEO) and the songs "Death Scene" + "What Kind of Ticks?" (VIDEO).

The VSS operated on a simple imperative to create a total environment of sound, light and physical catharsis. As could be expected, that type of intensity tends to burn itself out quickly. Thus, The VSS lasted just over 2.5 years, beginning January 1995 in Boulder, Colorado and ending unceremoniously in July 1997. In that time the band relocated to San Francisco, toured the U.S. four times and Europe/UK once, released a series of 7-inch EPs (all of which are on
25:37) and issued Nervous Circuits, their only full length album.

To this day, The VSS is commonly known for two things, 1) its inventive use of horror-film keyboards, angular guitar, unusual rhythmic shifts and jarring vocal effects in creating a dark sound that merged punk, goth, psychedelia and experimental rock, and 2) its "crazy" light show, an unprecedented notion for the underground basement show set. These two components are said to be influential on the aesthetics of myriad bands to follow in the 15 years since the band's demise. Of course, the synthesizer was nothing new in punk rock. It was a key component in 60s garage rock, as well as late 70s post-punk/new wave. However, by the mid-90s, the synthesizer was such anathema to musicians still reveling in the faux-grit of grunge, that to the members of The VSS, adding keyboards to underground noise-punk seemed the perfect prescription for what had become a staggeringly dull scene.
Nervous Circuits was recorded and mixed over the course of one week of sessions (usually lasting upwards of 16-hours per day) in October 1996 at the same Denver studio in which The VSS recorded its debut EP (which comprises tracks 1-4 of 25:37). Tracking of Nervous Circuits began on a Monday morning and the last mix was completed that Friday (Halloween) at midnight. The band then raced across town to play a late-night show that was one the most intense and unhinged performances of its brief tenure. 25:37 collects the group's 4-song debut EP Via The VSS, two songs from The VSS/T Tauri split 7", four tracks from the self-titled Gravity Records 7", and one from the split EP with Rye Coalition.

The members of The VSS went on to a number of projects. Vocalist Sonny Kay maintained his influential record label GSL, a successful visual arts career and led the bands Year Future and Subpoena The Past. Guitarist Josh Hughes, keyboardist/bassist/vocalist Andrew Rothbard and drummer David Clifford formed SLAVES in 1997, later changing their name to Pleasure Forever and signing to Sub Pop in 2000. Following Pleasure Forever's demise in 2003, Hughes went on to form Rabbits (Relapse Records), Rothbard has released a series of solo albums under his full name Andrew Douglas Rothbard and Clifford went on to play drums in L.A. instrumental post-rock band Red Sparowes.
Nervous Circuits + 25:37 will be available on double LP and download via Sargent House on November 27, 2012.

Artist: The VSS 

Album: Nervous Circuits + 25:37
Label: Sargent House
Release Date: November 27th, 2012

LP1 -
Nervous Circuits 
01. Death Scene
02. In Miniature
03. Sibling Ascending
04. Effigy
05. Lunar Weight
06. Conscious
07. What Kind Of Ticks?
08. Chemical In Chemistry
09. Swift Kicks
10. Nervous Circuits

LP2 - 25:37 
01. The Flesh Inside
02. Indian-sick
03. Evolution
04: Silt, etc.
05. Muscle
06. The Fist and Fingers
07. I Cut My Teeth
08. Cosmic Retribution
09. Crawling In Place
10. Response
11. No Hands

On the Web:

Letters From A Tapehead


Popular posts from this blog

Ellie Greenwich (1940-2009)

The Mailbox Giveth: Sleaford Mods

What I Heard This Morning: Breton