Sightings' New Album Sounds Like Nothing Else

Categories: Sightings

Sightings' 14-year long history might be thought of in Car Talk-qua-Three Stooges terms: a trio of grease monkeys go in on a lemon together for the thrill of fine-tuning its engine, then discovers that tweaking the engine's innards and fluids to produce variations on a sputtering, splintering theme is infinitely more satisfying than cruising the strip in a purring, detailed Datsun could ever be. The Sightings scree-knell is noise as jerky industrial clangor and interior-monologue drive-by, and most of the time, it sounds like nothing else in this fallen world.

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The Best Local Music Of 2010: Our Annual Mixtape Starring Sweet Bulbs, Marnie Stern, Sharon Van Etten, and Special Guest Hannibal Buress

Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent. This is a compilation of 2010's best local music, lovingly curated by YIMBY columnist Christopher R. Weingarten. See last year's tape here.

R.I.P. Chris Weingarten's old blue trucker hat. Photo by Rebecca Smeyne.
Have you heard the one about how the recession is over? Uh, don't tell it to New York City's musical community. While our center-of-the-universe assembly line of hype puttered on unabated, 2010's biggest up-and-comer success stories were actually beamed from the outer limits of the five boroughs--Titus Andronicus (Glen Rock, NJ), Screaming Females (New Brunswick, NJ), Phantogram (Saratoga Springs, NY), Real Estate (Ridgewood, NJ)--places where money can go to tour vans instead of landlords, where musicians aren't paying $400 a month for the luxury of sharing a practice space with three other bands. The remaining New York City indie-crossovers all benefited from frugal one-man home-recording set-ups (Oneohtrix Point Never, Matthew Dear), stripped down line-ups (the Drums, Sleigh Bells, Matt & Kim) or simply embracing the idea that sounding mushy is smarter than buying new gear (Small Black).

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Announcing the New Sightings Album, City of Straw, and Its Killer First Single, "Tar and Pine"

Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.

Sightings are Brooklyn's greatest living noise band--period. The avant-bruisers have been making jagged, nauseous, pig-fucked chip-'n'-sizzle for over a solid decade and have only gotten better with age. Their upcoming seventh album, City Of Straw (due April 13 on Brah Records) is easily their most expansive, pumping hollowed-out punk rock dirges as if they were transmissions from scrambled porn channels, all fuzz, static, and pulse-defying hiccups. Produced by Oneida's Kid Millions and Shahin Motia (full disclosure: two of my brahs), Sightings are starting to sound like a full-on rock band. "The guitar sounds those guys got were the best we've had in a studio," says drummer Jon Lockie. But if Sightings are indeed rockers, just think of them as expressionists, using a prismatic array of bowel-battering fuzz and stuttering gurgles instead of "riffs." Opener "Tar And Pine" starts as a precise piece of Mille Plateaux-ready glitch-dub before diving headfirst into oily pits of industrial wreckage, Flipper doom, and suffocating mounds of dirt. Below, an interview, tourdates, and the "Tar and Pine" download:

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