“But would you bat an eye waiting for war machines to pass you by? But aren’t we going out tonight? Aren’t we going out?”
Organ Thing of the Day and what a gang of things we have for today’s Thing. “I thought you might like to hear ‘Trust No Wave’, a new vinyl reissue of the 2016 demo tape by incendiary New Orleans punks Special Interest” said a man called Tim. Now we’ve clearly messed up on this one, why have we not been raving about the album Special Interest put out back in the middle of last year or indeed anything they put out before that?. I guess before we get to the older demos that Tim thought we might like to hear, (thanks Tim!), we should fire the most recent (June 2020) album at you. And you need this, it really does blast at you in a variety of rather healthy ways, it really is rather special. They’ve got everything in there, this is proper punk rock, proper challenging rule defying proper punk rock as it was originally ment to be, proper punk rock drenched with whiplashing electronica, with no wave flavoured challenge, with just a hint of soul and an undercurrent of violent dystopian danger – more than just an undercurrent, this is vital musical violence, who are these people, this is goooooood, this right here right now? Wherer have they been? Where the hell have we been?
“Special Interest have returned with their sophomore LP. A dual release from Night School (EU) and Thrilling Living (US). The Passion Of… combines elements of glam rock and no wave pushed through a mangled filter of contemporary electronic forms. Special Interest present a precise and deranged vision of punk, an apocalyptic celebration, a step forward into a perverse and uncertain landscape.”
“Special Interest doesn’t care what you think about them.” so reads the headline on a rather good Outcultured feature Truth be told, I was just looking for some photos to “borrow” for a bit, to have it away on my toes with, to nick, I don’t know who Special Interest are, they might be all over the music press that the cool kids read already, don’t ask me, I’m in here painting most of the time, I don’t read the music press the cool kids read. “The New Orleans natives are only two projects deep, but in a short amount of time, they have already created a sizable dent in the burgeoning DIY punk scene” reads the Outcultured piece. Hey, they might just be my new favourite band, we haven’t had a new favourite band for a good few months now, have we had one since the Mule? Was that band who made us yell holy merd a few weeks back? Special Interest sound like a kick up the whatever you have to be kicked up, they sound both old school and right here right now newest of new school, they sound raw, do they sound angry? They sound intense amd maybe just a little messed up, like they ay jsut crash and burn some day soon, they sound just right in so so many of the wrong way, they sound wonderful, they sound vital, they sound refreshing…
Now I guess we should focus a little on the thing that is coming out right now. These 2016 demo recording are really really raw, they’re edgy, don’t get the idea that just because they’re demos they’re throwaway, the demos are so very very often the best things bands ever do, raw bleeding and fresh with the excitiment of the newly created, oh the times I’ve argued for releasing the demo rather than the thing made in the plush studio three months later. Not that anything we’ve found from Special Interest sounds like it was made in a plush studio. This new release, these five year old demos serves perfectly both as a starting point or a look back after the more recent output, it pretty much appears to these broken eyes and fractured ears that everything Special Interest have dome so far is pretty vital…
What we have here is a reissue of the 2016 demo tape by the New Orleans band who combine elements of no wave, glam and industrial music. First time vinyl pressing with bonus track, new sleeve designed by Studio Tape Echo and 8 page risographed zine insert.
Four of the tracks here are raw early versions of songs that would appear in slightly more refined form on their debut album, 2018’s ‘Spiraling’. The other four pieces are unique to this release, including a cover version of Italian new wave band Chrisma, raging opener ‘Disease’, the over-saturated shoegaze-punk of ‘ATC’ and comedown lament ‘I’ll Never Do Ketamine Again’.
The band’s second album ‘The Passion Of’ (2020) was widely acclaimed and appeared in many album of the year lists. It was recently followed by a companion album of remixes on Boy Harsher’s Nude Club label, with all profits going to NOLA charity House Of Tulip.
Special Interest are from New Orleans, they are Alli Logout (vocals), Ruth Mascelli (synth and drum machine), Maria Elena (guitar), and Nathan Cassiani (bass), together they make a wonderfully vital noise (have I said vital enough times yet?), it does sound like “they manage to make their instruments and vocals sound like a fight for our existence” as someone else said. This isn’t easy listening, this isn’t your comfort zone, it does feel like they want to challenge both themselves and anyone who cares to dare to listen to their raw oversaturated no wave new wave post whatever you want to call it punk rock. Do like their tension, do like their art, the art of tension, tension and release, their challenge laid down… Did we say vital?
you can grab the new release of the old demos along with a zine via Bandcamp, all the best things come a with a zine…
And on goes the exploring in the Sunday sunshine of East London, I am enjoying today’s painting soundtrack, painting and exploring the world of Special Interest, there’s some very very (very) tasty mixes that are currently blasting their way out off the studio tothe streets of Hackney, this is wholesome, this is deliberately shaking people up
And while we’re here, there’s a whole album is a glorious post punk noise, the art of noise indeed, if i have this right, an excellent solo project from Special Interest’s Ruth Mascelli, Special Interests are rather good but this is excellent as well, this really stands out in a kind of somewhere iin the backstreets of Manchester looking for a factory shaped venue in 1979 kind of way.
“An hour long anthology of tracks recorded between 2015 and 2019, Psychic Hotline was a solo project of Ruth Mascelli, a multidisciplinary artist who is also a member of New Orleans-based punk band Special Interest. Calling time on the moniker with this compilation for Disciples, the tape runs the gamut from raw synth-punk blasts and industrial techno workouts, to hi-nrg dancefloor bangers and elegiac torch songs in the tradition of classic bedsit synth-pop. We also found these scattered excerpts in the psychic wreckage”, Here it is on Bandcamp, this is my painting soyndtrack for the summer…
Actually there’s a whole wide world of things to explore, there’s probably only one band in the whole wide world and they probably like in Tahiti, or maybe New Orleans
Oh yes, we can’t have too much of this today….
There is a video to go with the re-issue of the now five year old demos as well
And “the debut LP from NOLA’s Special Interest. Brooding, political no wave madness from members of Mystic Inane, Patsy, and Psychic Hotline. Great mix of all things punk and industrial, with plenty of catchiness to boo”
Special Interest on Bandcamp
Right then, back to painting, can’t be here thanklessssssssly writing about these damn bands all day….