Like it or lump it, Brooklyn will always be the haven of hip, emerging bands. Pop. 1280’s sound lies somewhere between Head of David with keyboards and Big Black with a live drummer—the kind of sound that could inspire no-fi hairless kids to “Do the Anglerfish”, as suggested by a track on their new album, Imps of Perversion. Luckily, while Pop. 1280’s influences are audible, the result is both unique and intriguing.
“I have no problem with being compared to other groups,” says guitarist Ivan Lip from his Brooklyn apartment. “I mean, when you start out you’re going to make music that you are influenced by. When we did our first demo, we thought Suicide were great, therefore every journalist said we sounded EXACTLY LIKE SUICIDE.”
“Self-styled Cyber Punk” and “Bum Metal” are just a few terms the media has come up with to describe Pop. 1280’s sound. When asked about journalistic feedback, Lip responds: “I’ve only read one review, and it was good, but I find that most writers, present company excluded, don’t know about music too much and they just slap a comparison on you.” Touché.
Lyrically, Pop. 1280 paints a fairly apocalyptic view—for example, “Chimps in mid-hump get vaporized” on “Nailhouse”—yet there is a tongue-in-cheek feel to their second full-length release. “We try to have a sense of humour when it comes to lyric writing, but there is a bit of a dark tone to it,” says Lip.
So what’s in store for Vancouver when Pop. 1280 rolls through the city this month?
“Four people, on a stage, making music; nothing more,” Lip states modestly. Underselling notwithstanding, a perusal of their performances on Youtube suggests they put on a dynamic live show. Complemented by great Vancouver bands Sex Church, Channels 3&4 and Cowards, this should be a memorable gig.
Catch Pop 1280 on November 14 at Astorino’s (1739 Venables).
By Luke Meat