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Review: MINCE’S CANE VHS by Science Man

Swimming Faith Records, 2023

In 2022 Buffalo’s Science Man released their third LP, NINES MECCA, and like the absurdly creative, wildly ambitious maniacs they are, made a music video for every song on the album. Now they’re back with MINCE’S CANE (is that an anagram?), a blistering evolution of their grimy, mutated strain of hardcore with—you guessed it—accompanying videos for every song. Even better, this one comes in a very limited VHS edition, along with both 7” and 12” vinyl versions (we told you they’re maniacs).

Led by John Toohill—prolific punk and member of essential Buffalo acts Alpha Hopper, The Hamiltones, Radiation Risks and an uncountable number of other bands—Science Man is more deranged experience than band, a full-body immersion into an acid bath filled with the distilled sounds and aesthetic concerns of punk, psych, hardcore and primitive black metal. And MINCE’S CANE looks how it sounds, a surrealist nightmare collage of green screen trickery, stop-motion animation, wild DIY costumes and effects. This isn’t some so-bad-it’s-good schlock, either—MINCE’S CANE is a magnetic, psychedelic ride that grabs your eyeballs and keeps them there for a startling twelve-minute blitz. Think of it as a bad-times Holy Mountain fully realized with zero budget, or Evil Dead on DMT cut with meth. It’s lethal, but what a way to go out.

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All the MINCE’S CANE videos are available online, and you should watch them. And you should buy the album in whatever format you prefer. But in BRUISERs estimation, MINCE’S CANE is best experienced on VHS, a bellicose and bleary seance for a dead format. This is a punk artifact of the highest order, a reliquary, a talisman. As so much of our lives end up online and intangible, here’s a fragile piece of culture to be held, watched, passed around and mythologized. Only 100 made but with fine print literally demanding to be bootlegged. Let us know if you want a copy.

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