This single arrived in the mail a little while back with a nice note from P.J. whose label Cherub Records put out this split from A new Dawn Fades and The Late Virginia Summers. Nathan from Harding Street Assembly Lab, who I talked to in a podcast a while back is in both bands, and this TLVS track was their first committed to vinyl and is completely different from the live rock slow building direction they've been up to lately. From the sound of both tracks these are early incarnations of an instrumental direction that's since turned towards the use of string instruments and basic live setups to pull of their own directions of that post-punk Chicago sound, Virginia style.
A New Dawn Fades on the A-Side does 'When Lights are Flashing' which is an instrumental that runs the entire soundscape from free form freakout dead set at the beginning, deconstructing the opening riff into chaos to dropping out into quiet Lync type movements. Minimal restrained barely strummed sections of sad electric that carry all of that implied burst of chords about to come. The jump back to the opening riff and the song doesn't even have the time to build, it seems to be testing how abruptly they can change tempo and emotion. An aggressive electric jam ends on that opening structure to quit. There's actually an impressive string version of this track on their myspace, which brings an entirely different southern flavor to the piece, or a kind of Alarm Will Sound reinterpretation of this one.
'NY 104, headed West' from TLVS, is a huge departure from what I've heard. Lots of electronics start it out, static snares and low res kick making up an off kilter quick rhythm. Just a hint of xylophone sounding repeated melody take me back to a hint of Tortoise TNT reference point. PJ warned me it was very different from their current sound, and it's great to hear this early direction, playing around with a forgotten home demo that has since turned into a full fledged side project.
I actually grew up in a tiny town near RT 104 and I have to think that's what he's referencing which is completely crazy. I drove on 104 every single day of my life, to school, to any kind of larger town, and I have to ask him what the hell he was doing up there.
There's only a few of these left on mostly white swirled red 7"'s. The only disappointment was I thought the sleeve on both sides was actually spraypainted, but instead it's nicely offset printed...I think a missed opportunity here to add another layer to the homemade quality I love about singles, but then again maybe they love the ozone.
Get it from Cherub Records.