Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pens - 'Love Rules' on De Stijl Records

I've been looking for this Pens full length after their contribution to the Art Fag 4 way split and it looks like they've got their own single now and full length on De Stijl.
This is my favorite sound, period. Abandon all production, all the energy is focused on making a massive noise, packing the waveform with something from every frequency of sound. This immediately has a kind of purity. They're going about it all the 'wrong' way. How are they going to get a record deal? How are they going to make any money? Not sounding like this.
Does it happen to kind of be trendy right now? Yes. It's still worth a listen. Is it 'lo-fi'? Sure, I guess...to me it just sounds like the unconscious genius of hanging out, getting fucked up, picking up some instruments and letting it fly. Probably a little more practice than that, but the idea is there...the raw enthusiasm for sound and melody. Like TNV? Sort of...there's more punk here, less melody.

Just like that Human Skab record...he was a kid and didn't know any better, so he wasn't censoring anything, so you ended up with a weirdly interesting uncontrolled force. Is this the ultimate end reaction against everything that's been recorded by every major label or for that matter the whole canon of popular music? I sort of think so, and in that way it gets an immediate pass. This sonic texture will never get appropriated...and for anyone who thinks it already happened with Wavves....hardly. Give me a real popular example that ever charted, or sold enough records to matter to shareholders. It's bullshit, but were talking about bands and people that put those bands together to make money. The Wavves backlash just doesn't make sense, is he duping someone? Is Fat Possum getting rich? What the fuck?...
This sound in general is where early blues started out, where punk had to go to even exist, and where countless sad bastard singer songwriters had to go when cassette 4-tracks were first invented. This is anti-all of that and for that reason I love it.

It also on another level just might end the search for that elusive band that keeps being just out of reach. I want this band to have a female punk perspective without relying on that gimmick, I want it to be sincere and raw because it has to be. First BYOP kind of went that direction, but I couldn't get past the screamy after one or two singles, then the production got out of control, maybe it was a case of aspiring to be too big too fast? I don't know....The Coathangers were next, raw, messy, the feeling was perfect, but the songwriting didn't keep me coming back. The Vivian Girls had a different raw sound, but let's face it, that shoegaze wall is more meant to exist in the background or lull you to sleep, it's not going to be that exciting past an album or two. So that leaves me with the Pens....so far so good. I can't pin them to a distinguishable sound, it's loose, recorded even looser, and with all the sincerity of punk. They aren't hung up on anything...Fuck Montreal is the closest I could say lately to the attitude I most want to hear in this situation, and then I think, 'Well there you go, what does it matter...good music is good music.' I guess I'm hoping an all girl band could just do something completely unexpected coming from that foreign world. I pin all my hopes on something I don't even understand.

But then again, Buddyhead has a scathing review of their full length, which actually made me want to hear it in the first place... so thanks dickhead.

Both of these are out on De Stijl.
hey friend, what you doing?
IND 071 LP / CD

love rules b / w you only like me when i tell you i'm wrong
IND 081 7"

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