Essential New Music: Sam Coomes’ “Bugger Me”


I’ve spent a lot of time over the years slogging my way through supposedly “difficult” (inherent subtext: “but good for you”) records: Metal Machine Music, Trout Mask Replica, Twin Infinitives, half the Neil Young catalog. Sam Coomes is no stranger to music that makes few concessions to listeners—I always loved Motorgoat, and then Quasi, for flipping the proverbial bird at even those listeners who loved those bands—but his perfectly pitched first solo joint can now take its righteous place among the more truculent indie-rock documents.

Simply put, it sounds like a ball of rusty barbed wire jammed into a glass box and mercilessly stomped upon, with the contents then spilling out into the street in the shape of shouty solo organ joints with mechanized ’60s-era percussive accompaniment Coomes has named Conny (“Corpse Rider,” “Shined It On/Lobotomy Eggs” and whatever you want to make of “The Tucchus Pt 1” and “Pt 2,” tracks as outer-spaced as anything Syd Barrett ever conjured). Rigorously minimalist like a rock in the road is—a lump, emotionlessly excavated from nature’s chaos. I still dig it.

—Corey duBrowa