TI-83 - Demo [cassette] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Demo [cassette] (2020)


Denver’s TI-83 play short, fast, savage synth-hardcore. The band, of course, borrows from Devo and the Units. But, whereas those bands had a smooth cool, TI-83 sounds like they are in a state of self-destruction the whole time. “Newsflash” might have the pulse of “Jocko Homo,” but it has the pounding, hell-distortion of Jesus Lizard.

On tracks like “Identity?” they verge toward speed-hardcore with the vocals purposefully muddied and warped samples dropped across the top. A possible brother band might be L.O.T.I.O.N., who also make their trade in warped-synth punk. But whereas L.O.T.I.O.N. seem to tie themselves to the unrelenting precision of drum machines, TI-83 prefer to live in a more chaotic world where the machines sometimes freakout and break down. “Optimized Afterlife” drifts along in a new wave, cloud ala classic Talking Heads, but just as things et somewhat Zen, they kick it forward and freak out.

Perhaps, paradoxically, while TI-83 do make mean sonic blasts, it’s all pretty catchy and even bouncy. Somehow, the band has found a thumbsnapper chassis and has welded nasty shards over the top. Because there is so much SOUND being blasted at all times here, the message is unclear- are they making a point about the horrors of the modern tech-age, or are they just reveling in compu-sonic destruction? Either answer seems pretty good to me.