Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Junkers on Gen Pop Records

I got this single a little while back from the guys from Junkers and this single is heavy pop psyche, so completely solid... really impressive debut EP 4 track single.
Immediately it had me reaching for old Jacuzzi Boys, Beets, Christmas Island, Electric Bunnies and Fresh and Onlys singles...but it's not exactly following in the footsteps of any of these either, they've hit on their own unique take somewhere in between psyche and garage, carving out their own niche.

All the nostalgic sound here is completely nailed in catchy, brief hints at a fuzzy beach sound, mellowing out under the stars, years of solid songwriting and an old beat up amp. It doesn't ever feel trendy...this is a studied, appreciated sound and they're getting (you) off on these smooth little melodies, that write themselves.

"No Goodbye", the first track on the A-Side should be enough to convince you alone, and this one is on their mypace. They have that solid rhythm sense like Nodzzz, keeping it simple...each of the guitars hardly working, throwing in their minuscule say in here and there, all muted strumming, calling back and forth, no lead... both working rhythm in this case. Vocally, they're using that tinny, far off plate echo I freaking love, with just a little bit of attitude...I can hear a sort of B-Movie motorcycle gang soundtrack here...but then they keep changing feel on me... sometimes they get a little greaser dirty, but then they put on circle lens sunglasses and roll down the hill.

"I can see the sun" takes another dirty bassline and adds shimmery high treble guitar twinkling around at the end of the dock. When they get to the 'seeing the sun' part of the chorus, it's just perfect mellow harmony freakout, all the beach boys roots, 13th Floor Elevators... they even work in a little casual solo. But I like that they don't heavy handidly play up the psyche part of this too hard; the songs are super concise, nothing is ever meandering, or relying on a jam element to carry it along, all freeform. It's cleanly recorded, keeping the little pieces of genius quick enough to pile on one tiny 7", 4 great tracks. All the time managing to marry this garage-psyche, ancient sound with the early Cure and Smiths too...that early '80s post punk minimal angle. It defies the date The Junkers recorded this straight to warbling cassette.

The B-Side, Summer Bums, has that perfect Smiths electric chorus sound I was talking about and that I searched ages for on every pedal I could get my hands on...those bastards. The lyric, this super dreamy melody is a hybrid of that classic songwriting and neo-maybe-folk (?) of Real Estate, Matt, Alex...all the side projects really.
"Painter man", has major attitude, they're almost trying to get on your nerves with how easy this is coming to them. The vocals are nasaly, mocking your categorizations. A little blues scream here, and as ever that raw nailing of this whole era. That organ sound is just icing guys.

Get this from Gen Pop Records who will have you paypal them a measly $6, but make sure they have some left, because this is a seriously perfect release. Nice work.
I've been listening to it straight for at least a day and I'm not nearly sick of it.

The debut 7-inch EP from JUNKERS. Four noisy, catchy songs by these Philly/Baltimore garage-basement rockers, recorded straight to cassette tape sometime last year. Hand numbered edition of 300, with 3 different cover colors. Plays at 33, and guaranteed to make your head swirl with psychotropic joy!