Friday, January 29, 2010

Fuck Montreal - Winter Mange on Stumparumper

Massive EP from these Canadian Halifaxers up today from Stumparumper.
You know, googling Fuck Montreal isn't easy, there's a lot of anger towards the place I thought was doing pretty well, music-wise...I'm assuming it has something to do with some sports bullshit, but maybe for this band it's a purely sexual thing towards the city. Or there is a huge feud with Halifax and Montreal...maybe Montreal is Canada's Seattle...Yea, fuck Seattle. Nice.

'Alarm Clock' the first track on the A-Side: I remember going to their myspace a year back when Pat announced he might be pressing a single from these guys and liking them immediately. It had a little bit of the synth-punk sound I've been missing since '06, but then there was a kind of Blood on the Wall, indie 90's filter of anything goes. This EP only takes their influences even crazier places, and baffles expectation.

France 1954: I'm getting it now, these guys are like the Swirlies...taking weirdo chances on crazy sounds. Fuck Montreal has more of an edge though, not so twee, but that could just be history looking unfavorably on the Swirlies, I still love them. The drum machine rhythm track is great, her echo vocals here are calling up a little YYY's feel, but with their old experimental wacko sounds they used to embrace more. My favorite, but nothing like anything else on the single.
'Winter mange' then goes, believe it or not... 90's grunge. Heavy Harvey Milk-style sustained guitars, but they never had vocals like this bratty punk. It's even Mudhoney...that superfuzz bigmuff era. Trying to be heavier than anything else. Fuck Montreal have no fear, and no definitive sound. I love a band like this taking huge chances, alienating an audience. Like this video for 'Bucket of Blood'...they certainly aren't vegetarian...but it's always in a way that makes sense. Chickens are delicious...just raise them responsibly, and kill them humanely. It's really not so crazy....but as a video...well, they have view and it might not end up being so popular...but maybe that's the set up with a band name like 'Fuck Montreal'... They're good.
This could be a B-Side on an old Sonic Youth single, with Kim Gordon loosing her shit, FM's lady is a mix of an angry KG and Karen O on this one, they're freaking chameleons.

Pluto changes gears yet again to a sludgy psyche experiment...even though they are everywhere stylistically on this EP, and it's all intelligently done. Huge gong and tambourine...the whole thing is just hanging from a plodding beat, and again, Jenn or Blair (not sure, I think it's the same vocalist throughout) took this tiny bit of a groove and worked it into a creepy melancholy melody. This one my favorite, forget what I said before.

The B-Side then says 'Oh you thought that first side was interesting?... Well that was our pop side.'
'The Rabbits' actually gets all sad, the acoustic tone, and bare minimal percussion, thin organ...I think she's actually singing about a garden?'s like the second coming of the Unicorns! I've made far too many comparisons to other bands, but you can't pick just one...there's so many great things going on here.
Then 'Beachglass' is one of the guy members goes a capella with a slow solo piano, and a few triangle hits are all it takes to bring everyone down.
'I pour Bees on myself', has crazy acoustics, there's a wind instrument played a couple notes back and forth while Jenna or Blair sings in a bathroom. The tracks get layered from the oboe someone had in the closet. It dies in the end.

I had no choice but to mention every track, otherwise you wouldn't believe me.

This is that band I always wanted to be in, where everyone brings a bunch of weird shit to the table, no judgements, no predetermined direction...but everyone has a great kind of songwriting sensibility to combine into something, not groundbreaking in little pieces, but as a whole band it would never have happened any other way.

I got one of the swirly red ones...not sure if any of these are left, but head over to Stumparumper and pick this up (for just 3.50$!), or better yet go pledge on his kickstarter page, it's going to be the same with shipping so support this label putting out gems like this. It's an insanely mature and varied release for essentially a band playing with rock archetypes, but honestly one of these will get you. I can't imagine a full length. Deerhoof is consistent compared to these guys.

"Winter Mange" is Fuck Montreal's debut vinyl release after countless previous releases on just about every other kind of media available (tape, cdr, vhs, who knows what else?), and it's a stunner. Over 14 minutes of music is crammed onto this small platter, taking full advantage of a format that is too often relegated to carrying 4 minutes of music...TOTAL. This is rare music - it comes from a space that you or I can't has always been here, and will still be around for download after everyone's gone. There is nothing in the way except the sound.

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