Missing Foundation

  • Missing Foundation
  • Missing Foundation (Purge/Sound League) 1987  (Restless) 1990 
  • 1933 (Purge/Sound League) 1988  (Restless) 1990 
  • Demise (Humanity) 1989  (Restless) 1990 
  • Ignore the White Culture (Restless) 1990 

Notorious for a highly visible graffiti campaign (the upturned martini glass logo, accompanied by cryptic sloganeering), violently destructive confrontational live appearances and a television newscaster who accused them of fomenting a 1988 riot in Tompkins Square Park, New York’s mysterious Missing Foundation has also made records that preach what the anarchist band practices.

Cacophonous and incoherent, Missing Foundation has near-random bits of guitar and bass amid the garbage din of junkyard thrashing. Quite unlike the industrial orchestrations of early Test Dept., Missing Foundation doesn’t whack at things in any discernible pattern. They simply pound whatever’s handy to create chunks of screaming noise-vérité, capture some of it on tape and slap on a title. (In that department, at least, they’re pretty traditional.)

There’s a shred more structure to the tracks on 1933, but the LP still amounts to the kind of sonic brutality sentient people try to avoid, rather than consume. (I mean, honestly, when was the last time you turned off the stereo and opened your window so you could enjoy the sound of jack hammers and garbage trucks more clearly?) Demise opens with the chaotic sounds of a riot in progress and includes relative restraint (hissed, rather than shrieked, vocals; room between the clangs), live concert recordings and, for the first time, a comprehensible bit of prose (“Surround the White House!” in “Pistol Archive”).

Ignore the White Culture makes some minor accommodations with the real world, printing the harsh lyrics (the use of any lyrics at all is a big step here) and reducing the magnitude and the randomness of the din to a sort of atmospheric accompaniment for Peter Missing’s apocalyptic pronouncements. A few tracks actually resemble music, but just barely.

[Ira Robbins]