By Christopher "CJ" Smith
As our coverage if the Portland music scene continues (check out yesterday's piece on the Thermals here), we admit: A lot of the reason we wanted to head out West was to talk to Eat Skull — to spend time in the awesomely dirty basement where they record and hit a house party they were playing. (There's no better place to see a band like Eat Skull than in someone's basement!)
We've been a fan of their lo-fi sound for a bit. We wanted to include them in our piece on lo-fi punk but just couldn't hook it up in time for that. (We did try to make up for it by including them in our accompanying muxtape.)
Eat Skull are lo-fi, but they also are crafting a sound that Tom Lax from Siltbreeze (Eat Skull's label) has helped coin as "sh--gaze" (technically the term came from Pink Reason frontman Kevin Debroux, jokingly describing fellow lo-fi act Pschedelic Horsesh--'s sound). The term has blown up so much that it was even featured in NME and the June issue of Spin. Not shockingly, the rest of the "scene" is filled out by other Siltbreeze bands, like Tyvek and Pink Reason, as well as former Siltbreezer's Times New Viking.
But when asked about the focus on the "sh--gaze" term in the press release that went out with their just released debut Sick to Death, the band laughed and told us that it was all just a big joke on Lax's part.
"He's making fun of it because it's just goofy," lead singer Rob Enbom said. "If the NME decides sh--gaze means something, it's funny. ... He's just goofing around. Most of the time that guy's goofing around. He's a funny guy."
Regardless of what their genre is called, Eat Skull is making some rad tunes. You can find more on their MySpace page.