Ben Green

Singles Reviews | Hissey Miyake/Terrible Truths split 7″

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Hissey Miyake + Terrible Truths split 7"

By Ben Green

It’s a rare and wonderful thing for a band to genuinely disorient a listener.

The late Me Mu + Meow‘s tendency to do just that made them one of the more exciting and original bands to come out of Brisbane in the last half-decade. Mei and Lei Gryffyd thrashed up a tempest of not-quite-random guitar over scattershot drumming, with the only recognisable shape being their dual vocal chants and exclamations. These were delivered in the echolalic cadence of the equally under-appreciated Life Without Buildings, albeit slightly more hysterically, and darkened by both the lyrical content (“I’m in love with your dead son”) and the spooky phenomenon of twins doubling each other’s speech. Which they actually did, as recorded in a 4zzz radio interview, during which they performed several of their songs accompanied by nothing besides a guiro and lost nothing in the process. The announcer who called them “cute” must be the type who keeps spiders for pets.

Given their old band’s penchant for art-world references (‘The Death Of Art Nouveau’; ‘Art Deco Is Still Alive’) and fashion (“Stitch, stitch, sew, sew”; blood-spattered nightgowns with teddy bears sewn on), it’s unsurprising that the twins called their new band Hissey Miyake*.  On their side of this split 7″, the random thrashing of old has been replaced by a precise, though equally repetitive minimalism, like a medium whose convulsions have given way to a focused trance. Their haunted chants about ‘Ghosts’ and ‘Modern Life’ are so echoed by the understated guitar needlework that it’s almost as if the guitars keep repeating the words after the singing has stopped. The sped-up ESG/Bush Tetras rhythm section makes this dance music – perhaps for Disney’s cartoon skeletons.

Terrible Truths recall a similar post-punk lineage, and in any other company their submarine bass and echoey guitar would seem ethereal. Here, however, they can’t help but be the more muscular side of the 7″. Their songs couple the oomph of the The Au Pairs with elliptical phrasing and overlapping vocals (think Love Of Diagrams),  hypnotising and intriguing before ending too soon.

This is the sort of split 7″ that you play twice on each side before turning it over – and then keep turning it over. Apparently it’s nearly sold out.

Find it here.

* A pun on a Japanese fashion designer, although apparently the band has since changed their name again to Glow.

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