For his project Abortion Eve, Melbourne’s Samuel Miers eschews pedals and production tricks to simply record guitar or bass straight to an old Dictaphone. But here’s the catch: he plays them with such found objects as cymbals, thumbtacks, spanners, drills, headbands, bracelets, nails, and other strings. Without the benefit of digital or even four-track recording, he can’t go back and change or fix things. Thus, his untitled songs are one-off improv creations that can’t be duplicated, live or otherwise.
Having said that, in the time since he made these two cassettes last year, each a 50-run self-release. Miers has turned his curious method of playing to the “proper” band School Girl Report. That makes Abortion Eve even more of a fringe artefact, but these tapes do hold a cyclical, off-kilter appeal. The sounds Miers prompts feel mysterious and wrong, like eroded shrieks and beeps stranded far underwater. It’s oddly rhythmic, manifesting in sort of crude manual loops, and there’s an interesting tactile grind to it all. Tracks alternately achieve the wobbly calm and the gut-churning foreboding of a certain strain of drone.
Despite its limits, Abortion Eve’s patchy racket feels like a beacon to the addled and misanthropic, wherever they may dwell.