With I Want to Live, Borts Minorts fashions a minimasterpiece of disorientation and unencumbered confusion by acknowledging no psychological or musical boundaries. This New York City-by-way-of-San Francisco artist combines the recreational mental illness of the Stooges’ Fun House with the cubist tendencies of Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica, but only conceptually. The funky garage rock riffs of the former and the fractured rhythms of the latter are present here, as are the free jazz sensibilities of both, but so are other innumerable elements that make Borts Minorts virtually uncategorizable.
“Tripping Balls” opens I Want to Live with distorted beat-boxing unrecognizable shrieks—and what could either be a cut-up tape of a brass band or an orchestra of car alarms—before transitioning into a savage, deep soul frenzy. It’s too fun to be avant-garde, but too smartly crafted to just be the psych ward house band. The title track is majestic hysteria constructed from synths playing the wildest outbursts of John Coltrane, body-moving percussion whose source is open to debate, and anthemic vocals.
These songs go by at a blistering pace; by the time all five tracks conclude, with a total running time of less than 10 minutes, you may not know what just hit you, but you know you want it to hit you again.
The record’s remaining songs expand on the possibilities introduced by “Tripping Balls” and “I Want to Live,” with unforgettable and indelible returns.