At a time when the musical landscape seems more slick and homogenized than ever, it's nice to see that there are outfits such as Clockcleaner
and Times New Viking
keeping the lo-fi rock aesthetic alive. Philadelphia noise-punk act Clockcleaner evokes bands from Alternative Tentacles' classic catalog via discordant guitars, spoken-word vocals and a healthy disdain for melody. Alternately, Columbus, Ohio's Times New Viking brings the fuzz, but songs such as "Dance Walhalla" have an innate tunefulness that cuts through its wall-of-noise sound. TNV recently signed to Matador Records and will be releasing its debut album later this year. In the meantime, you can check out both bands at their respective poorly designed (and, yes, lo-fi) Web sites.