Tyvek :: Changing Patterns of Protective Coating/Deadbeat Beat :: How Far

Throughout a run of 7”s, cassettes, and LPs, the Detroit avant-garage-punks Tyvek have exhibited a rare strain of workhorse independence. The band’s discography, spread out across a 13-year run, has found singer/guitarist Kevin Boyer—the sole, Coke-bottle glasses wearing original member—joined by a mutating gang of collaborators. Recalling the minimalism of the Urinals, surrealism of the Homosexuals, and socialism of the Minutemen, his explosive, shout-a-long choruses come on like sonic speedballs.

The M.O. remains unchanged on Tyvek’s latest ep, Changing Patterns of Protective Coating, the first release since 2016’s essential Origin of What (there’s more work out there too, from Boyer’s underrated sister band the Intended). Tyvek’s current Detroiter all-star line-up is made of guitarist Shelley Salant (Shells, XV), bassist Alex Glendening (Deadbeat Beat) and drummer/producer Fred Thomas (a beloved solo artist with too many credits to even begin). On this new ep, it’s clear the group has locked in.

This self-released 7” collects a pair of sub-two-minute rippers with matching instrumental interludes. “I’ve Not Thought Once” is a laceration of the short attention span generation, packed with chiming riffs and stop-start energy bursts. “30th” and “34th/Market” are mesmerizing “Surfin’ With The Shah”-style mood pieces, implying the ominous. Closer “We’re Back” delivers everything Tyvek does best, a bubblegum blast laced with Arto Lindsay-indebted fretboard damage. It even sneaks in a submerged spoken-word message to one of the internet’s most sickening subcultures: “Message to incel community, via plastic: Tyvek will not get in the way of what Jesus Christ wants for your life.”

Also out this month is How Far, the sophomore LP from Tyvek bassist Glendening’s Deadbeat Beat. Jangly melodies float to the forefront of the trio’s songs with a paisley sweetness and coy wink. Described as “a reflection on asserting and maintaining a queer identity in an almost completely straight crowd”, Glendening’s vocals are dew-dropped with melancholy, while drummer Maria Nuccilli adds airy harmonies to standouts like “Fair” and “You Lift Me Up.” DBB’s sun-kissed sound has more in common with the Bay Area sway of bands like the Mantles than Tyvek’s feverish clang until they soar off the runway on the eight-minute Simply Saucer-inspired VU rambling and the electronic sputtering of “Tree, Grass & Stone.” Have pop, will travel. words/j locke

Aquarium Drunkard has launched a Patreon page, which allows readers and listeners to directly support our online magazine as it expands its scope while receiving access to our secret stash, including bonus audio, exclusive podcasts, printed ephemera, and vinyl records. Your support will help keep an independent cultural resource alive and healthy in 2019 and beyond.