The Binary Marketing Show

Yield What You May EP

(8088 Record Collective; 2008)

By Peter Holslin | 18 November 2008

The two unassuming southerners who make up the Binary Marketing Show are friends of mine, but I’m not the kind of person who would write a glowing review of something that actually sounds awful. I am more of a humanitarian type, one who would risk looking foolish to try to save somebody or something he loves from self-destruction—and if there is one band in this world that always seems on the verge of exploding into a mess of brilliant strands that never regroup, the Binary Marketing Show is that band. Its very essence centers around workicide: the band describes its 2007 full-length Destruction Of Your Own Creation as “synth folk textures in a context of hopeless and nihilistic fanaticism,” and most of the dozen or so performances I’ve seen (usually after I’ll get a text message alert about the show at the last possible minute) consist of cathartic, frustrated improvisations on the skeletons of their intricate electro-rock recordings.

Yield What You May is by turns disjointed and pulverizing, but the EP also has its moments of sweet bliss. Instrumental “Trust And Candor” opens with a twisting mash of musique-concrète, and gradually gives way to Jason Meeks’ galloping drums and a syncopated 8th note build-up that seems stolen from a circus carousel’s organ. Then, cymbals and toms burst in and meld with layers of reverberated trumpet in a dramatic climax that evokes heavy rain. In “In Tongues And Ideas,” the jarring shake of an electronic hi hat guides beatific, shining layers of guitar as Abram Morphew sings in a homey southern twang, “And everyone bumps into one another / But we are hardly aware of each other / And this separates you and me / Might as well be infinity.” The blissful chorus plays host to driving strains of cascading guitar and a ghostly keyboard line, as the two cry in unison, “Whoa oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh.” The closer, “Six To Eight Hertz,” with an off-beat accordion-like rhythm line and a testy back and forth between Morphew’s vocals and crashing drum fills, suggests—as Binary Marketing Show so often does—that the EP’s dying moments will brim over with power and glory. Instead, the two suddenly and unpredictably descend into a sublime half-beat chord progression and drums playing in reverse, making a calm lull that sucks up into silence. Perhaps the two are suggesting that all of this should just be remembered as a tempestuous hallucination, or not remembered at all.

On a Brooklyn rooftop one night this summer, I realized that this duo commands a restless sound that needs to be nurtured, not killed. In the first few minutes of their set, the party’s lanky birthday boy shot into the air like a rocket, sparking the modest crowd into a frenzy of dancing. The next twenty-five minutes felt like we were all one exhilarated organism. Take that, workicide.

:: Stream the entire EP