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John Thill was born in Riverside, CA: land of heat, drugs, and stately grime. For six years he lived in gritty neighborhoods therein. Heart of Grime is an autopsy of that city and a record about the very ground falling out from under one’s feet, about coming home to a place that no longer makes sense. Thill wrote and recorded the album in a motor home outside his parents’ house in Riverside County after making an unscheduled return to California from the Southeast with his tail between his legs. Informed by a divorce, losing friends to drugs and watching his hometown’s rents rise and people leave, the album oscillates between harsh slabs of distortion and sparkling sound. Influenced by noise, folk, lo-fi, and, most importantly, pure pop music, Heart of Grime was cut and refined until only the portions deemed enjoyable on the twentieth listen were left. The result is a compact, jagged pop record with all superfluities excised. Both devastating and comic, the album is informed by surreal ideas, paranoid fantasies, and vengeful reprisals. It is a big departure from his previous open-form folk work the band Aum Rifle and the hip hop/world jazz amalgamation of Quem Quaeritis. Heart of Grime is more to the point and cutting than any of Thill’s previous recordings. This summer he is touring in various stages of undress throughout the US with tropical punks Abe Vigoda and working on material for several other upcoming recordings. He presently lives in the Pomona Valley, a current songwriting hotbed, where he’s a half-assed yuppie. Thill plays constantly throughout Southern California and is known for his physically reckless live shows. He has no health insurance.