Gaze for days

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

People from these parts have complained for a long time about the world's biggest and best bands leaving Columbus off their tour schedules, but that's not a problem for fans of the close-knit community of noise-encrusted art-pop bands that orbits Philadelphia's Siltbreeze Records. (Is it passe to call this stuff "shitgaze" yet?)

Thanks in part to the local triumvirate of Times New Viking, Psychedelic Horseshit and Pink Reason, this cadre of cacophonists flows freely and frequently through our dive bars and Campus houses, spewing enough primitive genius to power the servers at indefinitely.

The latest such sounds arrive Saturday from Portland, Oregon, courtesy of Eat Skull and Little Claw. The former's debut, Sick to Death, plays like a variety pack of every punk, pop and garage-rock tradition that informs this community, unified by a knack for memorable hooks and an affinity for tape hiss - twin pillars of this scene's M.O. Eat Skull performs these songs with a deranged passion not to be missed.

Their neighbors Little Claw stick closer to one formula, but it's a winner. Kilynn Lunsford croons echo-chamber melodies over a persistent, simplistic slow build, birthing the lovechild of '60s psychedelia and '90s slacker rock with each disaffected wail.

These bands join Columbus staples Psychedelic Horseshit and Guinea Worms for shitgaze's showcase showdown Saturday at Carabar.