Eric from Brick Mower contacted me through our mutual connection at Stumparumper Records, Pat, who recently started releasing cassettes including a Brick Mower handmade EP C-28. This split between Brick Mower and Granny Frost (who was also a part of Pat's Holiday single) is out on the Viking on Campus label, run by Eric himself. The circle of seven inches keeps spiraling back in on itself.
Granny Frost is Kevin Oliver out of Chicago working in the classic 4-track cassette genre, but not in those hushed 3AM bedroom acoustic recordings way. I remember from the 4-way xmas split that lyrically it's weird associations, non-sequitur's, "the future / is a photo / of a mirror" a little Beck, and Why?, anything goes, with a slight hip hop feel. There's a sense of humor in this I appreciate, like Eohippus, it's tinkering away...finding a beat or melody you can't help but work with, even going out to a rehearsal space and getting the room sounds from the amps.
This couldn't be further away from a sensitive 'Why'd she do it to me?' home record...real phat beats lead "Seed of Chaos", into a Pop Will Eat Itself, or Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine area (Can't remember the last time I thought about them)...machine gun drum programming and distorted guitars with the gleam of all things superpop...and executed with a 4-track is the perfect fit. Instead of the mountains of microphones and isolation booths, it's replicated with the cheap things at hand...like building the statue of liberty out of pennies. In the end it's better than the real thing it's trying to duplicate.
The xeroxed black and white sleeve of singles like this can lead to the best kind of originality. I'm easily swayed the opposite way with awesome handmade packaging, but the minimalism of this cut up collage imagery takes me back to my early days of randomly buying singles blind because of the DIY stylings. Brick Mower is from Keansburg, NJ and feels a lot like that classic xerox sleeve sound from those late '90s. Like good old Eric's Trip or the Loewenstein tracks from Harmacy...there's a blunt, homemade rock aesthetic. It's ok to be a little sloppy, with a nod to unprofessionalism, you don't want it to sound too good, or even lo-fi. It's smart punk with distorted huge chord guitar, combined with awkward vocal melodies the likes of experimental tracks on Freed Weed. "Cul de Sac": The jazz intro sounds like it was already on the tape right before they hit record. Then it's on to the live sludgy guitar rock based in catchy melody and vocals about "driving around in circles again", it's obviously born out of boredom and a garage to rehearse...the recipe for KRS, KRecs, the pacific Northwest DIY. The second track, "Garden Variety" is my favorite, back and forth vocals that sound punched in, quiet and loud, thin and homemade, like the Song's About Chris single, or a surprisingly rocking Sebadoh track. Sometimes you don't have to try so hard to innovate, or react against a scene, you just write what comes natural and end up with a classic. The jazz pokes through again, and I'm ready for a breakdown sound collage from a mini-cassette.
Get it from Viking on Campus or the Stumparumper distro:
Viking on Campus Records brings ya this slab of vinyl, a split between brick mower and Chicago's Granny Frost (the second split release we've done together). 2 brand new songs from brick mower, and two new tunes from Granny Frost. Limited to 300 on hand numbered vinyl.