The 13 Best St. Louis Noise/Experimental Bands in 2013
Founding members Sean Burk and Joe Stein couldn't decide on a name for their project, so they wrestled it out at a party. Catholic Guilt is a safety net of its members' ideas, warped into a somewhat palatable form for the outside world. Burk and his crew might take more influence from punk rock than most bands that identify as "noise," but Catholic Guilt earns its distinction with an honest, anything-goes approach.
Catholic Guilt isn't easy to pin down. At the most recent RFT Music Showcase, the group drove barflies and bouncers alike to step outside and complain out loud. At a recent show on Cherokee Street, Catholic Guilt took to an outside stage with a set of snotty punk-rock songs -- a far cry from its typical noise set. With core members who play in Bug Chaser, Shaved Women and Maximum Effort, among many other local mainstays, Catholic Guilt bridges the gap between scenes and cliques in St. Louis by simply existing.
Mabel Suen The Conformists
The members of the Conformists do whatever they want. Having recorded two studio albums with Steve Albini, the Conformists toured America and Europe and blessed St. Louis with its off-the-wall approach to post-rock for more than fifteen years. Its most recent record, None Hundred, offers considerable depth beyond the first listen. An unholy blend of math rock and early sightings of metal, the Conformists offers a dark set of songs rife with musical nooks and crannies.
The band is also known for being pranksters. For an unsuspecting crowd on April Fool's Day, the Conformists opted to trade in its carefully sorted songs to play the entire first Minor Threat LP. The typical live show, though, is no joke.