Damaged Bug, “Cold Hot Plumbs”
Cold Hot Plumbs
John Dwyer knows what you’re thinking. He knows why you’d be skeptical of Damaged Bug—a synthesizer-based side-project that seems like an obvious landing place for shilling B-level stuff not quite good enough for Thee Oh Sees. But as if to meet that critique head-on, he went ahead and released a Damaged Bug record and an Oh Sees record within two weeks of each other. A ballsy move, no doubt, and one that proves his point: the music on Cold Hot Plumbs is very much its own thing. Contemplative and far out, Dwyer indulges here (as he did with last year’s Hubba Bubba) in his more experimental tendencies while at the same time delivering the up-tempo maniacal hooks and off-balance lyrical perspective that he’s known for. It’s not exactly a masterpiece, but it’s more consistent than its predecessor, and offers a few fantastic stand-alone tracks (“Jet in Jungle,” “The Frog”), making this one screwy space voyage that’s definitely worth the trip.