Monday, January 24, 2011
Brick Mower lathe on Stumparumper Records
I mentioned this Brick Mower lathe cut Pat at Stumparumper put out a while back, and just got a chance to listen to it this weekend.
Thanks to Single Piece Slate I think there's going to be a million micro-labels popping up with this same structure in mind...cut 50 or so of them and do some handmade covers, (these are nicely screened however). They couldn't make the process any easier, and less you think it's a thin terrible sounding flexi that isn't meant to be played too many times, these are in fact super thick and great quality with barely any surface noise...if any more than normal.
The screened one color sleeve is like a Bruce Nauman neon sign; a brief passage of time between actions of an old man penned by Ryan Duggin. This one is even clear vinyl with a handwritten xerox insert with recording notes.
I was totally into the casual indie rock of their previous single on Viking on Campus Records and had to pick this up once I saw the B-Side was a GBV cover 'Exit Flagger'. That's an era of GBV I don't know at all to be honest, by 2005 I had long since moved on...and Brick Mower actually make me want to revisit this album in particular, even though I have to say in the end I'm into Brick's version more, but more on that later.
The A-Side, Box Turtle continues their classic indie sound, it's a huge rhythm part all distorted, laid down with the layers. Vocals are sitting right on top, the last thing to have been figured out at the very end of a drunken session. The electric melody is half playing along and I'm compelled to say it again, it's that home recorded, 4 track sound of Eric's Trip. Eric's Trip always seemed to fly under the radar in that cassette home recording explosion. They were less experimental and considered the melody more than some of the freakout explosions of the era, and kept it feeling really intimate...like a couple of friends had just passed you this tape at their show. It sounds like listening to a band through a heavy pane window, to get that thin sound...which is probably just the bouncing down of tracks, but it immediately becomes intimate...that quality is familiar, it's the promise of the possibility of making it, if they just heard this demo tape. It's also the bigger more complex sound of a trio working on these songs, it stays loose, but as a team they know what pieces work and make those hard decisions together.
I'm get a little sad and lonely because this sound and songwriting...it just makes me super nostalgic for the days of homemade launch ramps and sharpie marker t-shirts. Indie punk.
The B-Side, Exit Flagger, reminds me of how Robert Pollard would have moments of simple genius like this and Brick Mower took the core of this song and kept the core minima, blowing out the melody even further and adding the slightly distorted vocals. It's a lot more interesting, to have this massive contrast within the pieces. But you can hear how possible it is to get away with just 4 chords if you have to conviction and balls to know when it's over. To know when that's exactly right, and the song will practically write itself.
And back to back with the A-Side it fits Brick Mower so perfectly... if they didn't point it out in the liner notes, I would have never realized this was a cover. They acknowledge those influences, that entire era of music and then absolutely make it one of those ever changed cover songs.
Go check the super concert calendar because Brick Mower is coming to the Charleston March 10th, and then the almighty Cakeshop the 18th. No excuses.
If the lathe is sold out by the time you read this, go get the Floors EP and see them live dammit.