Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Modey Lemon on These are not records

These are not records has tricked the world once again and pressed a record from the Modey Lemon...not sure if that's like Mod-y, or Mode-y lemon...and then I keep reading it thinking it's actually supposed to be moldy. Then there's the title of the A-Side....Wandering Eye? Does this have anything to do with Ween's The Mollusk, or is it a dude wandering eye he's talking about.

I always appreciate a label like this that goes all out on packaging, no expense spared...the 70g vinyl is insanely thick, I don't even bother putting that center weight on the spindle for these kind of singles...they don't need it. Impossible to bend...I've never seen one with a wave in it a needle has to ride up and down. It doesn't get more serious than the heavy single..there are import 7"'s I wish were pressed....oh well, I've always wanted to try that two pieces of glass trick on the fire escape. Then there's the heavy double sided printed cardstock and parchment hand stamped inner sleeve...details.

The A-Side:, Wandering Eye has a weird heavy off beat rhythm, sort of like Talking Heads 'Once in a lifetime', it sounds like they're working at combining similar core elements here. It's a lot of work to get this percussion to come off right, there's no 4/4 to fall back easy way to work a fill in. It's the heavy lifting of a drummer pushing his limits, and they captured his massive sound that's matched with super fuzz basslines. Phil Boyd on vocals is sounding like a Anthony Kiedis meets Michael Hutchence....his take on an unmelodic hip hop talky delivery.
That sentence sounds insane.
I think they're in that limbo place of heavy riff balls rock and funk...with some moody MC-ing echo'd in. The guitar and bass call and answer each other throughout and this unrelenting groove never really changes into a chorus, it's hell bent on this straight rumbly course.

The B-Side 'Cheetahs for Chariots' starts out with a disjointed synth warble and unstable rhythm that quickly pulls out a melody with the scuzzy bassline. The percussion instruments are punched in and out by the measure. I liked the minimal bass starts out already so effected and fuzzy that all by itself practically it can work. So much energy was put into that particular sound they don't overdo it with solos. The high range synth swirls around unmodulated, the pitch wheel in overdrive. The vocals on this side are reminding me of the Stone Roses...a sort of cool detached approach to vocals. Not a mumble but a laid back just barely changing note style...on top of these breakbeat style sample sounding beats, I keep looking for a credit in the liner notes, but I think that's a testament to Paul Quattrone's sheer abilities to improvise and bring something more than the usual keeping time.

These Are Not Records in the about section of their site are as enthusiastic about vinyl as obviously anyone reading this is. Anyone holding a 7" single anytime, anywhere should remember it's only because of obsessive fans of the format like these guys, who went out of their way financially to figure out the process and then encourage a band to give them a few tracks, that most of your and my shelf exists. Each one of those tiny pieces of vinyl is an insane story of process and probably struggle of some kind to have it finally make it onto your pathetic turntable!
You are not worthy!

Actually you too play an important part knowing you're practically the second...well OK, after the artist, the third most important part of the process. Without you, there would be no reason to keep creating music, let alone to keep this obsolete music format actually growing, so when you go to order the single, you can keep that smug little grin on your are important after all.

These are not records cares.

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