Monday, September 13, 2010
Gold-Bears on Magic Marker Records
Magic Marker Records have a couple of new releases including this single from Gold-Bears out of Atlanta, GA of all places. Magic Marker is based in my dream city, Portland, and I'm afraid by the time I get to actually stay there for a while, a lot of people will have also already also discovered how great you are. That's a good thing...I guess I'm just a little jealous...and then to hear this being pressed? This only pushes me one step closer.
"Tally" on the A-side is working in that golden age of indie rock, of crystal clear layered vocals on top of jangle to screaming distortion guitar. The melodies carry all these tracks, and there just isn't room for anything that hasn't been well thought out and meticulously combined into punky power pop perfection. There isn't a moment that doesn't belong, a repeated section that's necessary. The punk part is the single-minded focus on the main melody and transferring some of that frenzied energy and the power pop side is keeping up with sharp bursts of jagged chords.
But the best track from Gold-Bears is coming on the B-Side, (of course). I have to admire the sheer speed of the twee leanings of "Jezzer". These frantic high register vocals, almost reminding me of Ben Gibbard or John Darnielle in some kind of fit. I don't know if they realize, even with a seven inch, they still have a couple of minutes left. It's the perfect archetype indie pop song, packed with numerous hooks, overwhelming insane catchiness and is over way too soon. They better hold on to the drummer who can execute these fills and rhythms with this kind of technical speed, like Dog Day's Lydia, it explodes with exuberant, bouncy pop. The sort of song 7"'s are made for, a perfect tiny package highlighting that gem of a song and allows for easy repeat.
The last track, HK Song takes advantage of it's rest of the side with slow melodic acoustic guitar and a hint of analog synth. What ties all of these together is that real lyric writers sense of conveying a very personal situations without being forced. That's the trick to this kind of punchy indie, how do you get specific without alienating and still being relevant in a few months...they stay universal and unique at the same time thanks to great vocals that sound conversational and effortless. It's the fine line of not being too clever for clever's sake...and there's none of that here...they're completely sincere and I'm looking forward to hearing what they might do with a full length situation.
The monochrome pink sleeve, which is a photo of a street in Japan maybe? The text on a bus is throwing me. This 3 song, white vinyl release is available from Magic Marker Records, who just celebrated their 10th anniversary....yikes.