| 19th FEBRUARY 2016 – SLOVENLY |

Seth Suttons’ Useless Eaters – who are currently based in San Francisco -have been making excellent records full of jagged, quietly seething post-punk since around 2009. Their new E.P, ‘Temporary Mutilation’, is absolutely no exception. The record’s first track starts with what sounds like a brief, almost free-jazz section, before slipping into the ominous groove. The vocals begin “wake up in the morning / put on your shoes // clock in / clock out” before leading into it’s refrain “temporary mutilation”. The track is filled with a sense of social alienation, which has been a theme in their work for a while. The song finishes with a stand out guitar part which stabs tightly into the looping bass.

The whole EP has an impression of unrest about it, similar to ‘A Trip To Marineville’ era Swell Maps. This really comes through in the second track ‘Breathing Smear’, with its dystopian sounding chords and synth line. The words “staring at a man-shaped mirror / it has no face / it does not taste” talk about a distorted perception of the self. Third track ‘Poison Dart’ is musically based around a primitive sounding drum machine and lyrically hinges around a train commute, the isolation is palpable – especially in the succinct lyric “your teeth are white, your head is down“ and the whole song feels pleasantly anxious.

Car Accident Face’ is the most direct song on the E.P and is probably the most reminiscent of their earlier stuff like 2012’s brilliant “C’est Bon!”. Despite having a very clear overriding mood and a kraut-like consistency , Useless Eaters know how to change dynamic to great effect and when the song pulls into the guitar and drum instrumental section after the verses,  it is to thrilling effect. This leads to the final track ‘Scene and Sequence‘ which routes round a patient drum part and the repetition of the title. The track is a fittingly strong end to what is one of the best releases of the year so far.

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