Friday, August 13, 2010

Cranium Pie on Fruits De Mer Records

Got a couple of singles the other day from Fruits De Mer Records out of the UK, and this single from Cranium Pie is actually the final release on their splinter label, Braken because it sounds like the fruit of the psycheadelic sea were too tempting and have completely taken over his operation over there. Two 7" labels!

'Rememberrr', the A-Side: There's the kind of psyche that sounds like a memory. It's a little scratchy, there's some layers of age all over it, you can imagine it's a undiscovered single from 40 years ago, just an overlooked band. Like The Fresh and Onlys who are just a few steps removed from that era with the sensibility, maybe it's the harmonies, but even Hawkwind doesn't sound like this. Cranium Pie is so immediately a part of that sound, it belongs in that time period. Like looking at black and white photographs, it's easy to forget that there was ever color. This is full production, extreme experimentation, in it's initial construction and way after the track is recorded even. It has a massive crystal clear intensely separated sound.
They're playing around in such a major way, the vocals verses back and forth between far off phaser and chorus vocals, it's a page out of Ween's Woman and Man. There's a massive smooth Rhodes organ, and meandering guitar solos. The whole track is done in these different acts or movements. They work into different grooves and let the whole sound slowly fade to transition into something else entirely with liberal use of channel fades and some menacing spoken word right before the massive band jam takes it all out.

There's even an old school computer printer whirring away, the paper is torn off which turns into a crashing wave's rooted in that old school psyche, but there are great contemporary experiments like this that take it into Flaming Lips territory.

How this fit onto a seven inch is almost defeating the point of the format. It's endless.

'Mothership' on the B-Side takes the tempo down with a rimshot beat and up front uneffected vocals, they even work the Braken label into the lyrics. It slowly builds into a massive chorus 'Take a trip on the mothership somehow.' Atmospheric electronics are in full effect, the ship is taking off, and they almost abandon the 60's era entirely with the chunky synth bassline. It goes without saying you get different experiences with headphones or cranking the speakers. This isn't just a particular slice of this sound they've wanted to explore as part of a bigger direction for the band. This is a seriously sick obsession with this sound, it has to be, because they pull it off so authentically.

Get it from the late Braken Records, pretty amazing one man underground scene going on with these two labels, just as much of an infatuation as Cranium's sound. Home grown, personal 7"'s, the best kind.


  1. I agree...really love these guys..I've been playing Cranium Pie and many of the Fruits de Mer artists on my Radio Base Camp show on WPKN in Bridgeport, CT...even had a chance to interview the guys. It's all at the

    Glad you are writing about the band! Steve di Costanzo, WPKN listener-supported radio

  2. Anonymous4:46 PM

    Yeh get it. It'll mess with your head.