Damaged Bug // Hubba Bubba
Recommended Track: Sic Bay Surprise
Damaged Bug is another John Dwyer foray into sloppy and drug-induced interpretations of bands I like. One is quite aware of Dwyer’s references when listening, so far as blending his own song with a Can classic in “Contraption/Soul Desert”. Here Dwyer takes as much from Chrome as he does from New Order, creating a danceable synth album that’s falling apart at the seams, best to play at the end of the party when everyone’s too blasted to keep rhythm. Dwyer excels at creating a sonic wall of floating reverb to get lost in, snapping you back into the plodding and creaky reality of his verse. In this way, his songs accurately mimic my years from sixteen to twenty fairly well.
Hubba Bubba opens with guitar on “Gloves for Garbage”, but quickly descends into synth oscillations, with vocals halfway between Chrome and New Order’s atonal lyricism. Dwyer’s voice is present enough to hear what he’s saying, which is a good thing. His lyrics are often a surreal word painting of an awful event that’s worth contemplating, especially when you’re alone in a bush in some unfamiliar city with a needle sticking out of your arm.
“Sic Bay Surprise” is the strongest track on the album, Dwyer displaying a broken down and disturbing consistency that will probably live on long after this particular scene has died. Allowing that Neil Young made some pretty shitty music in his day, Dwyer might be our century’s answer to the man. An anomaly that works as well alone as in a group, a manic fountain of unusual ideas.