Mordecai 

Waste/Drag Down

Digging through some old 7-inch records, I discovered a few favorite covers. Botanica Mysteria from Men's Recovery Project shows two demonic people—one is a boy with octopus-like hooks for legs, the other looks vampirish—sharing a laugh and some coffee. And then there's Spurge's Time is Wasted/Hing record from 1993 showing a grainy photograph of a little boy holding a rat by the tail. Hard to beat, but Missoula's Mordecai comes close. Its new 7-inch shows Holt Bodish with black-frame glasses and tasteful sweater wielding a folding chair over one shoulder and yelling like he's about to smash the room apart, which is a great intro to the music.

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The two-song record, from the Wäntage label, is lo-fi goodness with all the shimmy-shake, sometimes driving and sometimes spastic energy of a band that's possessed by history's best gritty garage bands. I've mentioned Poison 13 before when it comes to Mordecai, and "Waste" has the grungy, slo-mo feel of "Spoonful," like a 1960s underground dance party got run through a washing machine filled with molasses and came out no cleaner but definitely more blackhearted. "Drag Down" whips up into a stomping frenzy, though with just as much grime. Angular guitars, thumping drums and insolent-yet-epicurean vocals make this fleeting album—cover and all—so fantastic.

Mordecai plays an album release show at the VFW for a special pre-Total Fest show, Total Slaw, Sat., Aug. 11, with Seattle's Damage Done, Austin's Cruddy and locals Birds Mile Home, at 9 PM. $5/$8 to attend this show plus the one at Zoo City Apparel.

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