Smersh - Slackers and Underachievers

The duo of Chris Shepard and Mike Mangino were very prolific, releasing around 50 albums of rough industrial pop and feedback-laced machine noise as Smersh, Gestaltung, and Neon Noodle from 1981 until the early 2000's. Most of their albums came out as self-released cassettes on their Atlas King label. They also, along with like-minded underground travelers DDAA and Bene Gessirit, seemed to have a song on just about every weirdo cassette compilation released in the 80's and 90's. Because Smersh's catalog is so vast, there have been a few attempts at wrangling their songs into "greatest hits" compilations. A few CDRs appeared and then went out of print, a couple releases given over to Free Music Archive, and most recently the Dark Entries label issued a wonderful double-LP compilation called "Cassette Pets", which is very much available direct from the label and affordably from iTunes, Bleep, all the usual sources.

Inevitably for a band with a discography so deep, lots of music continues to languish on normal bias cassette tapes that will eventually fade into iron oxide dust. This album is one of my favorites. "Slackers and Underachievers" leans heavily on more awkward noise and spacey dub. A few songs seem to include a drummer, in place of Smersh's usual Roland TR-606 thump.

Smersh - Slackers and Underachievers


Anonymous,  30 November 2014 at 19:13