Clangor management.
Clangor management. Sarah Cass

The Homesick, "Male Bonding" (Sub Pop)

Sub Pop's ear for quality rock groups worldwide still remains keen. Latest example is the Homesick, a young Dutch trio who just released their second full-length, The Big Exercise. Unusual for a youthful rock band, the Homesick's members (Jaap van der Velde, Erik Woudwijk, Elias Elgersma) profess a love for avant-garde composer Meredith Monk and experimental vocalist Joan La Barbara. Further, the title The Big Exercise derives from a sentence in the Scott Walker biography A Deep Shade of Blue. Those influences are subtle, but you can hear that the Homesick's songs are speckled with unconventional elements that distinguish them from those of the indie-rock hordes. The Homesick's moiré melodies carry the whiff of musicians not content to do the expected thing.

"Male Bonding" (coincidentally, the name of a very good former Sub Pop artist) starts with martial paradiddles contrasting with a chiming guitar motif that shows an affinity for mantric, Rhys Chatham-esque repetition. Around the minute mark, though, the Homesick launch into one of those discordant, metallic chug-athons that made Sonic Youth one of the most worshiped bands of the '80s and '90s. These guys really know how to build tension, and then release it. A clangorous bullet train of a track, "Male Bonding" is the best thing on The Big Exercise, and it's also the album-closer. Admirable perversity. Listen below.