Hunter from Gold Robot was kind enough to send me his latest single in what looks like the beginning of an ongoing split series pairing artists from different geographical regions together. These two, Colossal Yes and The Good Fear couldn't be further apart, from opposite sides of the country in fact.
The Colossal Yes , 'Backbiter Blues' includes member Utrillo Kushner, from Comets on Fire. The Colossal Yes is possibly a full time solo project at this point, it's been a while since CoF released a full length. I'm hearing a piano driven direction and his penchant for a massive epic narrative under the guise of this lazy country inspired number. According to the liner notes it was recorded with a single ribbon mic, and that's a feat in itself really, and it has to be the best way to record this kind of heartfelt blues country, that live feel just adds to the ambiance, if you don't already hear it, it just confirms they solidly can deliver a song. I have to respect abandoning all studio post work entirely, like that painful Will Oldham sound on Arise therefore, if you can pull it off, it really makes a huge difference. So many bands could benefit from this raw feel...then to press it on vinyl and really... you're there. I even get a Songs:Ohia feel on this one... maybe it's the sax solo in the middle, an elevated country style...there's more to them than the guitar twang. You're listening to talented guys in a room, getting live tones from an amp you would die for thinking everything should be recorded like this.
The Good Fear has a B-Side similar tempo track, 'Be Like Us'. Stripped down acoustic with Zack Holland's deep Mark Lannegan cigarette growl. A sustained Rhodes organ wails over barely a beat to keep it decidedly melancholy, but it's not long before they change tempo and flex the entire band into a huge sound, with Zack belting the chorus. I'm starting to second guess if this is even the same voice. That's where they go from somber alt-country to a conducted massive rock sound. In addition to the geographical separation, you've got two very different recording philosophies represented, The Colossal Yes shows off going for a pure sound in a live situation and the Good Fear gets up close and personal building layers of vocals and epic emotional highs with all the precision a multitrack can offer.
Two sides of similar blues country rock, offering entirely different acoustic experiences...both impressive.
Artists: Colossal Yes / The Good Fear
Title: Split Series Entry I
Format: 7-inch colored vinyl (Opaque Gray)
Front Photograph: Elise Irving
Back Photograph: Rett Peek
Inner Label Design: Leandro Castelao
Release Date: July 13, 2010
The first entry in Gold Robot's ongoing split series which pairs artists from different geographic regions together. Featured here are Colossal Yes (Oakland, California) and The Good Fear (Fayetteville, Arkansas). Artwork is provided by photographers from each region (Elise Irving from California, and Rett Peek from Arkansas).
Get it from Gold Robot Records.