Washed-out psych? Druggy, fuzz-bliss? Fucked up free-jazz?
Whatever you want to call it, PC Worship doesn’t really care, because the band could be any of these things.
“It’s definitely not some bedroom pop bullshit. We jam in the living room or the pit,” says PC Worship mastermind Justin Frye from the Italian countryside, where he’s currently playing bass on Gary War’s European tour.
While not physically playing in a bedroom, PC Worship also doesn’t sound like it’s cut from the same cloth as bands that can be filed under that tired descriptor. The band’s latest—from what I can tell, thanks to a seemingly endless list of recordings—is a 7-inch called Live Reduxion. The record’s tracks are just a little less melancholy beach pop and a little more, well, different. The band sounds like an East
Coast Ariel Pink, but weirder (yes, weirder) and with more distinguished musicianship.
In fact, when I finally catch up with Frye, he’s with Gary War making a medieval psych record in an old Italian castle. Or at least that’s what he tells me.
When he’s back in the States, PC Worship is sometimes just Frye and sometimes a couple of mystery collaborators, whom he would only refer to as The Mutant Soul Band. The recordings, split between cassettes, CD-Rs and vinyl, have either been self-released or put out on the Norfolk, Va., label Shdwply, which specializes in bands like Gary War, Teeth Mountain and Sore Eros, the side project of Ariel Pink and Panda Bear band member Robert Robinson.
“It’s definitely a personal project that can be solo,” Frye explains of his primary band, “but there’s usually between four to six other people playing.”
There are elements of psych, druggyness and, yes, even free-jazz in the music, which can be heard on any of PC Worship’s mostly long-gone records—if you were smart enough to pick them up when they were still around; seven of the band’s releases, including the NYC Stone Age LP and numerous self-released cassettes, are out of print, leaving Live Reduxion and two cassettes available for purchase. Of the one remaining release on wax, “Gravity” is the standout track, beginning with 30 seconds of screeching guitar noise and finally giving way to a rather charming, melodious song. The din returns for a second blow midway through, before relenting again and allowing Frye and the gang to churn out a messy coda.
It might be a while before any new PC Worship tracks appear, though. Frye is currently embarking on what he calls a “forced vacation” from recording. “Some junkie stole my busted laptop in Brussels,” he explains. “Also, my reel-to-reel has some magnetism issues that need to be sorted out.”
A bummer, sure, especially as his bass was also lifted, but at least he got some justice. A friend busted the culprit shortly after the theft.
“Funny thing is the guy tried to sell my bass a day later to a friend’s used gear shop, so that’s when they busted him,” Frye says. “He’s in jail now.”
It’s too late for his laptop, though, and of those aforementioned limited edition releases, including more than five last year alone, fans should refrain from holding their collective breaths for re-releases or compilations. The only copies were stored on his jacked computer.
“Maybe whoever has it will bootleg the jams,” laments Frye.
>> PC Worship Dec. 3, Death By Audio, 49 S. 2nd St. (betw. Kent & Wythe Aves.), Brooklyn, no phone; 8, $TBA.