Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Whatever Brains on Funny/Not Funny Records + Sorry State Records

This co-release from Whatever Brains comes via Funny/Not Funny Records and Sorry State Records. F/NF released a great split single from The Alphabet and Invisible Hand a while back I liked a lot. This sleeve was leading me to believe this was some kind of hypnotic sound collage, or dark minimal electronic nightmare...surprisingly it was neither. Maybe it's the anthropological photo of some strange ritual...or the masks and tinted black and white photo...but it's off. Unsettling.

"Rappers Delight II", starts out with some very snotty nasal vocals and this haphazard half swing beat is just setting you up for the super production landslide that's going to follow. I'm thinking of Les Savy Fav the way they repeatedly smack you upside the head when you're convinced that track wasn't going that way. Switching it up from track to track, starting loud right out of the gate, using fidelity challenged percussion tracks...there's never a hint of where any of it's going.
Does this have anything to do with the Sugar Hill Gang track? Absolutely not. I thought I was reading how these guys had something to do with some garage-something or other, it seems like that early direction must have been abandoned for full use of all a studio has to offer. And good for them, you have to start somewhere, but how a band evolves are where it's real nuts are. God knows we have enough bands recording with inferior equipment, these guys make use of every knob, the mysterious things that I as a sometimes home recorder, listener will never understand, or even see. The audio nerd tape op message boards I struggle to decode keeps it's secrets safe with Whatever Brains. When this track picks up by the end it's fist pumping it's devil horns. Huge gritty evil chords right after another in their clearest, louder than hell, attack.
I still love that about LSF, for better or worse, they are out there on their own path, proving with sheer longevity that they were going to keep writing interesting stuff. They can take the best parts from a full studio sound and force them into that kind of anthemic art rock. It just seems to work with all the twists and turns intact. Especially on the next track, "Village Sewer", the stepped up tempo and yelling hoarse style vocals are right along with Tim Harrington's delivery.* There's a constant homage going on, borrowing from this classic rock, power chord, monster ballad place and keeping it moving at the same time enough never to become repetitive.

The B-Side "What Makes a Man Make What Makes a Man Start Fires?" is making the case airtight. I really think this could be a Tim led side project....damn, how could you pick up from a place it took them well over 10 years to get to? If this is just the beginning, then I'm a little too excited at the possibilities of where this might go....if you know what I mean.

I'm going to go pull a 7" out from the LSF section and see if I'm completely insane.
Four months since the release of “Nesting,” the Whatever Brains return with their fourth single, “Rapper Delight II”. The Brains pump the brakes on this one, slowing the tempos down for two-thirds of the single without losing any of their lo-fi garage-rockish intensity. Sandwiched between the up-beat Belle & Sebastian lyric-ripper “Village Sewer”, the Clockcleaner-esque “What Makes a Man Make ‘What Makes a Man Start Fires’” and “Rappers Delight II” are destined to be classic porch jammers this season waiting for the charcoal to light up. The single offers Raleigh’s Brains production value and reverb levels at their best as they definitely “stepped up their game.” Perfectly jangly when needed, the single is the perfect compendium to staying awake well beyond the point of reason. Just remember it’s not passing out if it's in your own bed.

If this sounds like your bag then F/NF has another single, "Nesting" which they will put together in the same seven inch box and charge you less than usual for it.

It's a Whatever Brainer

Get this one from Funny/Not Funny Records or Sorry State Records

* I think Tim Harrington and Zach Galifianakis if they aren't already would be best friends.

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