Although currently signed to Thrill Jockey records, Mi Ami once graced the epic Chicago punk and indie label Touch & Go (now halted on new material release). And appropriately so; the San Fran drum punks have taken huge inspiration from the alternative art of noise rock: the feedback techniques of Dinosaur Jr., the funk ‘n’ dub frillings from the likes of The Pop Group, all sparked off with the self-proclaimed ambition of other tri-corner bands such as Minutemen . This latest 12’’ release, ‘Cut Men’, gains its title from the band’s anxiety towards the American ‘dude’ culture, with ‘Cut’ being slang for muscular. The track opens with a string, drum and keyboard vernacular, before the crescendo inter-burst of funky basslines intervenes, aggravated by paroxysmal vocals. A live performance recorded in one day and over-dubbed with vocals the next. It’s a little dry of clarity and variation than previous releases; raggy guitar riffs descending into a shoegaze, frustratingly amassing as a concentrated racket without an output. Any leeway already gained is destroyed by the keyboard impresario, hyped by overt cosmic effects, the invective of DIY etiquette. Stuff I conjured up on my keyboard when I was in single figures, just thrown in there for the sake of experimentation. The guitar feedback clashes with the keyboard improvisations to a cataclysmic upsurge; the overall purpose is accomplished at the cost of sounding familiarly like a broken record jarring. And no one likes one of those. Second track, ‘Out At Night’, is impressed with a different tone, contesting the A-side with heavily-dubbed sound prints, dusted with light dark-wave industrial similar to Klinik. Hints of tribal jungle drums from their African music obsession, (starring heavily on past tracks like ‘Echononecho’ from the Watersports album) meet organ-rich synth effects and bracketing electro-beats. Their teardrop sound waterfalls make this a sparse but thoughtful take on ‘the late night walk home’. Mi Ami still have room to grow, but are definitely not to be completely over-looked as ‘yet another West coast act’. Rating: 5/10