w/Out Hud, Synth Club, DJ FITS
Wed June 8, Chop Suey, 9 pm, $10 adv.
You can't fling a Pigbag 12-inch without hitting a band copping those fabulous, scabrous sounds of the '80s. Have you yawned yourself stupid yet? Okay, now snap to it, because there's one band mining '80s moves who won't make your eyes roll with more Gang of Four/Cure biting. Meet San Francisco quartet Tussle-all stripped-down and ready to go way out and in there.
The band-Alexis Georgopoulos (drums, melodica), Andy Cabic (bass; he also plays in Vetiver), Jonathan Holland (drums), and Nathan Burazer (electronics)-have been building a deserved buzz with the Eye Contact, Don't Stop, and Disco D'oro EPs and Kling Klang album. Contrary to their post-punk-plundering peers, Tussle dig deeper into Reagan-era sonic treasures for inspiration. Most of Tussle's inﬂuences are so obscure, only obsessive followers of Soul Jazz Records (or fortysomething saddoes) will know where they're coming from (e.g., Arthur Russell, ESG, Konk, the New York Noise comp).
Tussle essentially are a jam band, but one that eschews Phishy noodling for concise, propulsive groove-mongering. Their tracks are lean-mostly clanky/plastic-bucketed percussion and reverb-addled melodica-but fat where it counts (snaky bass lines, disco-funk kick drums). The bumpin' "Don't Stop" epitomizes Tussle's stoic yet sexy linear drive and subtle, reverb-laden dub accents. The group's loose-limbed improvisations coil like a rattler swallowing its tail and then rolling with crisp efﬁciency and metronomic bliss to the heat-hazed horizon line. There is no beginning or end to the typical Tussle track, just a perpetual wow-intensive now. ■