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Erase Errata At Crystal Palace Review

Album. Released 2003.  

BBC Review

There's a kind of manic pleasure here.

Nick Reynolds 2003

Erase Errata are an all girl band from the Bay Area of San Francisco. They deal in intense scratchy sub Beefheart guitar lines and poinging over-exited bass. There are fast, jittery white funk rhythms and discordant climaxes. Their singer rants "I am a bird of prey!".

Song titles like "Retreat! The Most Familiar" and "A Thief Detests the Criminal, Elements of the Ruling Class" give you the idea of the territory: post riot girl, left-field and left wing. This is a kind of agit-prop, with "uncompromising" written all over it.

There is a tradition of music like this. Bands like Delta Five, The Au Pairs, Bogshed, Stump, The Pop Group. If you've heard of, and like, any of those, you will probably like this.

Another name that springs into my mind is the Dog Faced Hermans. They came out of Edinburgh in the mid 80s and were last seen in an anarchist squat in Holland. Erase Errata sound very, very like The Dog Faced Hermans. They even feature a badly played trumpet just like The Hermans. This trumpet irritated bourgeois male rock critics, but I liked it then, and I still like it now. I'm sure that Erase Errata sound so similar by accident rather than by design, but it's still odd.

I agree with the attitude but I'm not sure I like the sound. Sometimes I feel am being shouted at and there's not a lot of room to breathe. For me, the best moments are incidental, the fluttery freeform section at the end of "Ca. Viewing" or the bits where the guitar just wigs out completely. The final track "Matter No Medley", where there's something close to singing, is the most impressive and hints at a more accessible, enjoyable structure.

There's a kind of manic pleasure here. And they are probably great live. But in 2003, it just seems a bit old fashioned. Erase Errata will hate me for saying this, but this music is actually rather conventional.

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