Thursday, August 27, 2009

Phil and the Osophers on Factual Fabrications Records

Lucky from Factual Fabrications contacted me about giving this Phil and the Osophers release a listen. Turns out the 100 or so copies they pressed are sold out, but maybe any interest would convince them into a repress. God knows most of the cash pressing 100 of these went to the masters and setup fee's. Give them a reason to go for in for the whole 300 this time.
Factual also just released the full length from Phil and the O's on CD or red and blue cassette... nice. They have quite a few releases behind them actually, and I'm having trouble finding any remnants of where this originally was available...

There's a lot of room to breathe in these tracks, but that's no surprise since they recorded a lot of the tracks from the full length with a mic and garageband at home for their bassist to rehearse to.
Oh, garageband, how many seven inches have started with you.

A-Side: Uses of a Man...there's a great effortless haphazard quality to both of these tracks that gets me on their side right away. They're endearingly loose, with catchy changes every other measure. It even feels like it must have been an early version of the song. It hasn't been played to death and over rehearsed. Not that I'm hoping they perfect anything with no room noise, and cut and pasted performances. That's what's making this great, the honest, home recorded quality. I'm convinced with those self imposed limitations it always leads to a more exciting, immediate sound everytime.
This track really goes a bunch of different places, with drastic tempo changes, stuttered single note melodies and layered slightly distorted vocals. There's a weird haunting quality to the verse, the melody is completely not connected to anything happening musically, it's pretty unique, but they're making it sound way to easy at the same time. It's deceptively simple, I think maybe a little laid back, but when you get in and examine these pieces, there's a lot of great songwriting that isn't so everyday and either takes lots of work or (and dammit if this is true) just comes to you everytime you sit down at the microphone. I can't decide which.
B-Side: 'Cheap Livin'
Ok,... I wrote down Talking Heads somewhere on a piece of paper listening to this and it had to be while on this side. That exact guitar tone and staccato delivery...almost reggae, based in that sound, but at this point having as much to do with that new wave/punk? kind of late 70's sound. High treble brief bursts of chords.
It's also definitely due to Phil's vocals here, the inflections ending in high falsetto questions...very David Byrne, and not just 'Once in a Lifetime' either. A young sounding demo session Byrne. Smart lyrics, that I'm just barely catching in the 10th listen or so. I have to say the name was a sticking point, but they've won me over....not unlike Nodzzz. No sense name, but then I wouldn't want them trying to hard, it would be a completely different animal.

Good, honest, down home, not country, clever, not overdone, tunes.

Sorry, it's is totally sold out from Factual Fabrications records and Phil's myspace, but they have a live show on BTR you can check out, or contact them and demand a repress...or get the full length....or see then at Union Hall in Brooklyn Sept 9th. It's up to you. Or go read other blogs in your newsfeed....bastard.

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