Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Broken Water on Fan Death Records

I still play the hell out of Broken Water's full length from Night People, "Whet", it's immediately so familiar...it definitely brings back Goo and Repetition...experimental, voluminous trio rock. They must love this stuff as much as I do, to have come up with these sincere tracks that go some new places and fit right into the most revered and played section of the record shelves.

"Normal Never Happened".
They have it nailed. Down to the cryptic title. Grungy off tuned guitar melody, that sludgy slower feel rock rolling in and out that plays off the following fast hi-hat section and harmonized vocals between Abigail and Kanako (I'm assuming Jon is the dead on Thurston vocal). They're raising the bar...it's one thing Unwound never had was that back and forth between Sara and Justin. They have an ear for those complex masses of distorted harmonies that come out towards the end on this track...they go from all delicate and Bloody Valentine to bowel breaking Mudhoney. It's authentic as hell, it's in every second of this. More than lost tracks from all the influences they bring to mind, it's a case in point for you only get to this point by working through you're history. They really could go anywhere from here...
To sound this good already?

"Faux King Vogue", these are the vocals that are dead on Thurston, in the best way...to even try to pull this off proves they're just doing their own thing. A melodic picked electric melody goes from folk to jangly indie to steeple crushing almost Pelican metal. They obviously don't mind sounding like anyone...they have to know they do...but it doesn't matter, when it's done like this, they pay homage and innovate at the same time, continuing a line of thinking that I don't think is ever really gong to be finished. Great guitar tones that defined an entire decade, Jon pushes that sort of grunge sound into a huge pile, like the Big Sleep, the layers of low dissonant distortion. The song construction, drum recording, fading feedback...it's more than reminding me of an entire decade of Sonic Youth and Unwound... it's more than nostalgic, it might be a wake up call to get back to some basics...guys this is serious.

God knows I love Unwound, and this is very nearly filling that giant gaping wound. It's so great to think about some kid in Olympia coming across these guys and then working backwards to those ancient classic influences. Hearing that shit for the first time, after being blown away by this.

They also get major points for letter pressing all their singles so far, and these have random ink splatters all over the front. it's the kind of thing that makes the 7" so great...someone went through each one and flung the ink and hung it over the kitchen table from a clothesline to dry...and the best part is the blue cardstock sleeve was re-appropriated from some elementary classroom exercise hanging folder. Genius.

Another must have from Fan Death Records.

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