Ian Records sent me their latest single from Far-Out Fangtooth a band out of Philadelphia, and as far as I can tell, this is their first release, and on 7" vinyl at that. A while back I talked about The Party Photographers another garage-fuzz band from the same city, and Ian is back at it again documenting this overlooked part of the country.
I like this matte cardstock IR is printing their sleeves on, and their monochromatic design, this one is an equally abstract photo of a warped high gothic room. The reverse shows the band on the side of a building sitting on the curb after a long night, leather jackets, dreamcatchers and plaid represent. No one really cares about the picture, but they're half demented smiling and that seems to be the direction they're headed on these two sides.
The A-Side, Pathways, is a sludgy, almost slowed down, sounding groove, the cymbals even sound delayed somehow. It's garage-y, but what the hell is that? Maybe it's some kind of attitude here. A cold, detached vocal delivery at the perfect level, just enough reverb for the distance, but it's not a gimmick. Super far off guitar melodies that sound like A Place to Bury Strangers hugeness, but instead of a dreamy washed out soundscape, they turn the wall into scary punches. I keep imagining there's a dark edge to this whole sound. There's a reason it's unclear, they probably play with the lights off and take Blessure Grave over to see The Big Sleep and ditch you while they go score snuff films on VHS. That's what good rock and roll is about, going to those places on a track I don't want to. I sit in my apartment and listen to records. I don't want to have those real world experiences, let Far-Out Fangtooth safely take me there until I have to flip it over.
The B-Side, "Why Don't You Cry" has a big classic sound. Long drawn out chords, slight Earth drone with a nonexistent BPM crashes. This works against a '60s tambourine double snare hit rhythm chorus....and there's even backup ooo's in this one. It's feeling like Wooden Shjips in their reinterpretation of a psyche-rock sound, with some of Woven Bones snotty punk style. They took a look at shoegaze, which can really go one of two ways: you can get cute, maybe a little twee, or take it to a regimented experimental place...and they just decided to get mean...not that this is goth, or cold wave or anything like that....
You know what I actually just thought of... Sisters of Mercy...on a fuzzy old fucked up cassette that was taped over something else.
Ian let me know that the highlights magazine looking 7" labels are actually reversed, so you know what that means collector dudes. It's like that stamp with the upside down plane.
After reading a live review from Chariot trip, I definitely hope they make it up to NY at some point.
Get this one from Ian Records.