Local Licks

This week we review The Atomic Bomb Audition, Mophono, Sunol, and A Marine Iraq War Vet Named Matt.

The Atomic Bomb Audition, Roots Into the See. Groomed in the ultra-rarefied environs of Mills College, local composer Alee Karim decided, on a lark, that he wanted to venture into metal. That’s tantamount to a beatnik poet suddenly realizing he wants to write the sports column for his local newspaper. At any rate, think of this EP as a piece of performance art. The vocals are low and rumbly, but the melodies sound considered and varied, particularly on “Horizons.” (self-released)

Mophono, Cut Form Crush. Anyone who knew Mophono under his former alias, DJ Centipede, can attest: That’s one weird-ass dude. His new, glitchy, computer-generated, highly conceptual album only enhances the Mophono mythology. In this case, the local producer never quite locks into a groove, preferring instead to stagger and fracture his beats, warp them with machine sounds, or splice in obscure samples. The result lies somewhere between hip-hop and musique concrete. That’s not your CD skipping — that’s intentional. (CB Records)

At Som Bar (2925 16 St., San Francisco) every Tuesday. 9 p.m., free.

Sunol, Ohlone. Melodies sound thick and languid on this worldish rock EP by a band that revels in its diffuse tastes. Sunol combines West African percussion with American folk instrumentation. The resulting sound is dense and soupy and sometimes beautiful, blanketed with Seventies-era harmonies and often hovering on a single chord tone. Bay Area references abound — mostly to local landscapes. (self-released)

A Marine Iraq War Vet Named Matt, An American Story in His Own Words. In this odd but captivating hour, a young marine narrates his Iraq War experience. It’s an honest, off-the-cuff, detailed recounting, with a noticeable lack of emotion (he speaks rather undramatically about being miserable and wanting to shoot himself in the head). Matt occasionally leads the listener to judgments without sounding judgmental himself. (Toy Room Recordings)


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