TERMINATor, "Rat (Hopefully, the Boy)" (self-released)
Featuring members of Rose Windows and Dræmhouse, Seattle trio TERMINATor are one of the city's most interesting rock bands. Their sound is at once methodical and ramshackle, their guitar tones redolent of 4AD goth/post-punk iconoclasts such as (early) Dead Can Dance and Dif Juz, and their use of FX'd flute a goddamn blessing that adds a disorienting eeriness to their songs. TERMINATor—drummer/flautist Veronica Dye, synth/bassist/guitarist Lauren Rodriguez, and guitarist albie—come at rock from oblique angles and refute the commonly held notion that bands need to be "tight" to be good. It is exactly their loose-limbed offness that makes TERMINATor's music a slow-motion epiphany.
The flute curlicues that announce the start of "Rat (Hopefully, the Boy)" vaguely hint at "Strawberry Fields Forever," but Dye's slack, tumbling drums, albie's rusted-chrome guitar squalls, and Rodriguez's declamatory vocals lean more toward great, under-recognized NYC No Wave-esque rockers Ut. "Rat" is a weird, jelly-legged dream of a song, its haunting bell-toll guitar warping into the subliminal, twittering-flute madness, as Rodriguez shouts enigmatic lyrics about "tiny-town dicks in worn-out places." This is anything but the same-old same-old. The song's part of a three-track visual EP—shot by Rodriguez and recorded by Chris Cheveyo—that's available on USB.