Damaged Bug, Cold Hot Plumbs

By: Andrew Wilcox
Music Reviewer

Damaged Bug album cover.
Photo via Castle Face Records website.

Artist – Damaged Bug
Album – Cold Hot Plumbs
Label – Castle Face
Date of Release – 6/1/15
Website – http://www.castlefacerecords.com/products/damaged-bug-cold-hot-plumbs

Sounding incredibly fresh and sonically interesting, John Dwyer’s second release as Damaged Bug, Cold Hot Plumbs evokes images of the past to the listener, but curiously using electronics. Dwyer’s influences can be felt on the synthesizer. Inside Cold Hot Plumbs, traces of Cream (especially on “What Cheer”), Kraftwerk’s early electronic experiments, Brian Eno’s early work and even onto more recent influences such as the Tron Legacy soundtrack (Daft Punk) can be found to a inquisitive listener.

Usually a guitar player, Dwyer turns almost exclusively to electronics on Cold Hot Plumbs. Dwyer has created a soundscape for each track, paying homage to older styles of music but at the same time sounding like a futuristic soundtrack to a spacy film. The track names also call to mind images of outer space; the spaceship in Alien (1979), “Mega Structure” and deep space mining operations, “Deep Bore Drill Worker.” Three small instrumental interludes also add a sense of cohesiveness to the record, as sort of all connected, an interstellar concept album.

Rich with otherworldly sounds beeps and blurbs, Cold Hot Plumbs is an extremely individual and unique piece of work. Dwyer’s psychedelic punk meshes with electronics very well, transmutates as Dwyer might say. Recommended tracks include “What Cheer”, “Grape Basement”, “The Frog”, and “Mega Structure.

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