Title: River Of Shit
Format: 7"

released February 2010
Catalog #: SS 048EP

"Like a child captured by wolves, the Chinese Restaurants might live in New York City, but they really don't have a home. Though their roots are the Tucson, Arizona garage punk scene (home of the Fells!), LF Restaurant (AKA Acapulco Rodriguez) and Keith Restaurant (ne Redgerson) started the band long distance, from posts in Albany, New York and rural Connecticut. With Keith's 11 year old Garfield-loving brother on drums, they threw song ideas over the phone and would play impromptu shows -- often without rehearsing -- including one via conference call. (When playing over 21 venues the Restaurants recruited Bunnybrains genius Malcolm Tent to play drums.) Of course, the sound was pure chaos, but over time and with infusions of American underground sounds like Beefheart, the Sun City Girls, and various Euro art pranksters the Restaurants started to find themselves. A name change to The North American Free Jazz Agreement lead to a Euro tour and an opening slot for Arthur Doyle. And it should probably be expected that the next step for our Restaurants was to reemerge as 'a grotesque, sexually inappropriate Doors cover band.' Come 2010 and the Chinese Restaurants are finally committing themselves to vinyl. With the help of sonic saboteur Mattin (Billy Bao, Josetxo Grieta, NMM), the Restaurants created 'River of Shit,' an underground state of the state of the nation of sorts. A deft commentary on the Age of Obama or just another smart ass prank, we don't know, but it sounds good. And the flip of 'Work is a Drag' and 'Queen of the Skanks' is a skanking sludge fest that would do both Flipper and No Trend proud. S.S. is very happy to say that we served the first helping of Chinese Restaurants."

WFMU BLOG (USA by Brian Turner)

Chinese-river Harlem's Chinese Restaurants get the Flipper/No Trend tag, but aside from the fact they probably don't rehearse much and drop an elongated sample around a jam (in this case an Obama speech), I hear plenty  of Ohio burn on their River of Shit 7" (S.S. Records). Mattin (Billy Bao) scuzzifies the production to a nice flat scree, and while the credits claim playership of one "synth bass", that particular element sounds like it's been boiled in the pot with everything else. "Work Is A Drag" (MP3) might be the more plodding of the three cuts here, but it's the one we're being told to put up, so think of it as the more sensitive of the sides. I keep hearing that this band is now evolving into a Doors tribute act (?) Musical or personal cues? Not sure there. Hopefully that will not mean a wine-bloated LF Restaurant will be found dead in a tub and in a filthy French grave. Or that their keyboardist will issue 2CD spoken word disc about what it was like to go buy pants on Venice Beach with the Lizard King.

The Wire
Size Matters (April 2010)

Byron Coley

Very messy trashcore single by a trio based in New York City,
who sound like nothing else that city has produced recently.
Hard to tell if the biography is a jape, but the sonics
are vom-coarse and the Obama simple that runs over most of the A side
(which is not the Fugs song, by the way) is bizarre icing on a
well damaged cake.

Yellow Green Red (USA)

More unruly Brooklyn noise-rock, but The Chinese Restaurants aren’t aping Brainbombs, rather they’re indebted to their lesser-known, dollar-bin Blackjack Records labelmates. This is noisy punk the way Icky Boyfriends could be considered such - it’s sloppy, designed for nuisance value, filled with bad ideas and most people won’t like it. In other words, I dig it! “River of Shit” is a boring rock shuffle that samples Obama for roughly three minutes, with the singer doing his best “Wonderful Subdivision” in the background, until Mattin provides his signature annoying cut-up remix for the last minute or so. I can already tell people are going to hate this, especially since that overbearing Obama clip is uncool in basically every underground circle (post-Reagan president references are hard going, just ask that Australian band named George W. Bush). The two cuts on the b-side are less distinct but finish nicely, very much sounding like they were meant to be squeezed into one of those Bulb / Blackjack Records compilation 7″s that had like nine bands a-piece (and consistently remain one of eBay’s finest bargains). I’ll be surprised if my critical peers enjoy this one like I do, but for my money, it’s tickling the same funnybone as last year’s Pillow Talk single.

Weirdo Records (USA)

Simple but sharp, just like a prison shank. Trashy rock produced by Billy Bao's Mattin, which is I assume where the crude Obama speech chopup came from that's slopped all over the A side.