Outpost 31 Studios have returned, this time with Quarantine Cuts Volume Two. Volume One dropped back in July and was a glorious patchwork of sonic delights created during the big bummer known as 2020. Artists doing what they do, creating art. In the midst of Orwellian isolation, songs were created as a means of coping and connecting, even when that connection was just sending files back and forth via the information super highway.
With Quarantine Cuts Volume Two the noise is just as dystopian and hazy, but with newer, heavier elements. There’s an urgency in some of these tracks, while others free-float in a woozy, numbed high. Outpost 31 Studios are doing amazing things, and these volumes are proof of that.
Opener is the foggy, stoned “Space Lanes” from the always amazing Cruxible(aka Harglow’s Eric Gorman). “Space Lanes” is hypnotic, mysterious, and even a little sexy with its “come hither” groove and far-out vibe. Like, “lost in space in a Galactic Cruiser with a bag of weed and your crush from high school” sexy. Just go with it. Pillar and the Boys absolutely scorch earth with “Lou Dresden”. Imagine The Slits, early QOTSA, and The Soft Boys all morphing into this sweaty, bombastic gut punch of a band and you’d have an idea of how this song rocks. Killer tune. The Aphids “Toasty” is this coming together of early 90s indie rock like Polvo and Archers of Loaf with the almost post-rock tendencies of Explosions in The Sky. Pretty heady stuff.
Elsewhere Dr. West and the Thing drop the punk rock bomb “Sunday Romp” that sounds like Dead Milkmen and R.E.M. in one fantastic shot of jangle and energy. Treebones drops in with some help from L.C. on the stoned and pop-inflected “Bird Of Night”. A favorite here at Complex Distractions, Treebones always offers up something that’s a touch downbeat and a touch melancholy, which we love. And of course a Quarantine Cuts wouldn’t be complete without Alanis Moranis covering a classic, this time it’s Men At Work’s “Who Can It Be Now”. Imagine Sebadoh doing a slowcore cover of the Men At Work 80s classic and you’ll have an idea of what Alanis Moranis are up to.
There’s not a bad song on here(and why would there be?) Outpost 31 Studios have curated yet another amazing set of songs from an equally amazing set of artists from all over the US and abroad. Every artist locks into the vibe, which is set from the amazing artwork by Callie Fuller to the artists and then to the exquisite tracks. The visual and aural come together and create this pocket of hazy existence for us all to float and heal in.
Play Volume One and Volume Two back to back and take the trip. You’ll be glad you did.
8.2 out of 10
‘Quarantine Cuts Volume Two’ is out now via Outpost 31 Studios. Buy it here.