Erase Errata

(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Other Animals (2001) , 6.5/10
At Crystal Palace (2003) , 5/10
Nightlife (2006), 7/10
Jenny Hoyston: Isle Of (2007), 5/10
Sic Alps: Pleasures And Treasures (2006), 5/10
Sic Alps: U.S. Ez (2008), 6/10
Sic Alps: Napa Asylum (2010), 4/10
Sic Alps: Sic Alps (2012), 4/10

Erase Errata were four riot-grrrrls from San Francisco who harked back to the disco-punk of the new wave (Pop Group, Contortions, Gang Of Four).

Other Animals (Troubleman, 2001) showcased hysterical vocals (Jenny Hoyston), petulant dissonant guitar (Sara Jaffe), stormy rhythms (bassist Ellie Erickson and drummer Bianca Sparta) and the occasional trumpet or keyboards. It stages a relentless assault on the ears. The most visible results are the visceral grooves of Billy Mummy and Other Animals Are #1, which lead to hypnotic witch dances like Marathon and French Canada, as well as to cow-punk aberrations like C Rex and Walk Don't Fly; but more revealing are the guitar pyrotechnics of Fault List, the disjointed and chaotic High Society, and the radioactive power-ballad Dexterity Is #2. Some of the most effervescent numbers (1 Minute) are confined to brief pieces that endorse the ethos of the "no wave" of DNA. The amount of verve and energy packed in this brief album made some punk-rock sound lame.

At Crystal Palace (Troubleman, 2003) is a less original work that reprises the same (derivative) idea and applies it convincingly only to the hysterical punk-rock of Harvester and (partially) Go to Sleep, The "melodic" opener Driving Test is rather lame. At the other end of the spectrum, the atonal minalism of Owls is intriguing but hardly revolutionary.

Erase Errata's singer Jenny Hoyston also released the experimental mini-album Lines Are Infinitely Fine (Dim Mak, 2003) under the moniker Paradise Island. Isle Of (2007) was her first full-length.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Carlo Maramotti)

Le Erase Errata sono quattro riot-grrrls di San Francisco che tornano alle derive disco-punk della new wave (Pop Group,Contortions,Gang Of Four).

Other Animals (Troubleman, 2001) mostra vocalizzi isterici (Jenny Hoyston), chitarre dissonanti (Sara Jaffe), tastiere e trombe agitate, ritmi torrenziali (la bassista Ellie Erickson e la batterista Bianca Sparta) in episodi come Delivery, Other Animals Are #1, High Society, Fault List, C Rex. Le ragazze sfruttano l'impeto per far girare i formidabili grooves di Marathon, Tongue Tied, Billy Mummy, French Canadian, Dexterity Is #2.

At Crystal Palace (Troubleman, 2003) e' un lavoro meno originale che riprende la stessa (derivativa) idea e la applica convincentemente solo in Let's be Active c/o Club Hott,Harvester e Driving Test.

La cantante delle Erase Errata Jenny Hoyston, ha pubblicato anche il mini-album sperimentale Lines Are Infinitely Fine (Dim Mak, 2003) sotto lo pseudonimo Paradise Island.

Erase Errata's Nightlife (Kill Rock Stars, 2006), the first album (or, better, mini-album) without guitarist Sara Jaffe, was still unique in the way it channeled stereotypes of the musical counterculture (new wave, no wave, punk-rock) into danceable structures, breeding order out of disorder. The album reads like a history of unpopular music of the 1970s/80s: the convoluted ska of Cruisin' has echoes of Talking Heads' Psycho Killer; the bolero-like crescendo of Hotel Suicide feels like a gothic version of Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit; the anthemic punk-rock frenzy of Another Genius Idea From Our Government echoes the Dead Kennedys' Holiday in Cambodia; Tax Dollar could have been a lost gem of Romeo Void; and the feverish cow-punk rock Rider evokes the ghost of the Gun Club. Underlying the eccentricity of the project is a continuous rhythmic invention, that stretches from the pounding pow-wow dance Take You to the ubiquitous syncopation and odd tempos. The award for best arrangement goes to Wasteland, whose epileptic jungle drumming is stabbed by chaotic guitar chords before copulating beastly with free-form noise.

Sara Jaffe debuted solo with the EP Salt And Water (2006), featuring only Tara Jane O'Neil on other instruments.

San Francisco's Sic Alps, fronted by Mike Donovan and featuring Bianca Sparta of Erase Errata, delivered noisy garage-pop on Pleasures And Treasures (Animal Disguise, 2006) and the EP The Soft Tour In Rough Form (Mt St Mtn, 2006). The U.S. Ez (Siltbreeze, 2008) is no less stereotypical but tames the verve and opts for a more elegant style, from the T.Rex-ian glam tempo of Gelly Roll Gum Drop to the bluesy ballad Everywhere There, that recalls Jimi Hendrix's stately version of Hey Joe. A Long Way Around To A Shortcut (2008) is a compilation of early singles like Microcastle (similar to Everywhere There). Sic Alps further cleaned up their sound on the 22-song Napa Asylum (Drag City, 2010), that added Comets on Fire's guitarist Noel Von Harmonson to the core duo. Alas, they now sounded like Guided By Voices at their most indulgent and redundant, with a boatload of tedious languid ballads. The highlight is the slow-motion acid blues Sic Alps Ranger. Sic Alps (Drag City, 2012) is similarly devoid of energy, full of harmless poppy ditties like Moviehead. Slightly better is the single She's On Top, that sounds like a slow-burning southern-rock remix of the Troggs' Wild Thing.

After a nine-year hiatus, Erase Errata released a seven-song mini-album, Lost Weekend (2015).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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