Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oberhofer on Inflated Records

This sleeve is insanely deceptive. This thrift store painting of a mountain? Must be somewhere in Washington? That would make sense...all of the info I can find on these guys leads back to Tacoma, WA...and then the reverse is an old sepia tinted pic of a circus ring of a thousand model T's. They're haunting, slightly mysterious ambiguous pics...I was imagining sparse acoustic tracks, nothing like this incredibly dense weirdo fractured pop from the last named band, from Bradely Oberhofer.

"Away Frm U" on the A-Side goes for a fingerpicked low reverb sound like those Real Estate slow burns until a booming tom comes in with off the wall untraditional vocals against a toy xylophone. Not that it's easy to pick apart these layers.
There's no faking that honest sound of a rehearsal room...or just the untreated recording room that the band finds itself in. I think that functions today the way the home recorded sound of the late '90s signified immediately the pure songcraft and anti-commercial movement of the time. This raw, playing together sound of Oberhofer on this side says, maybe you heard I started in a bedroom, but I can kick out the jams with a bunch of friends with the same care and energy. I also know now I can look forward to seeing this live because here's the proof...unlike the Cloud Nothings....maybe between having to play live and moving away from the layered mess of a home studio, they just lost a lot being reinterpreted live. Or when Blank Dogs played the Music Hall once, not one song sounded anything off of any album. I want an artist to evolve, but it's also confusing to sound like any old rock band, sans trademark analog archaic synth.
This track here ends with some weirdo feedback as if you weren't positive already they will consider any sound and this crazy experimentation is going to lead right into a full length. I love that they went for that text message title too. Alt Buzzworthy etc.

"Dead Girls Dance" on the B-Side.
I really had to check the credits of this to see if it is, in fact, some related side project to Animal Collective. Before I can even officially find out I'm blown away by hearing any project so closely resembling the creative philosophy of AC. The vocalizations, the unnerving polyrhythms, the explosive bursts of melody....it's uncanny.
The melodies are unfamiliar. How they're arriving at the same cacophonous solution s AC is impressive. It's clearly not riding the coattails of that sound, if that were even remotely possible, instead they come to the same conclusions in this primal blend of traditional rhythms and experimental noise. I wouldn't make that caparison lightly, they are completely out there on their own and how this is in the same neighborhood is unbelievable.
This one sounds so far to be in the experimental stage of Here Comes the Indian but with that frantic pop insanity of Strawberry Jam. I know this is going to immediately turn people off, but maybe for others it'll get them to take a chance on picking this up.
Those embedded rhythms weaves in and out of one another with a melodic understated guitar. It all comes in together in a brief refrain to punch away, hit after hit and then repeat the opening at an even faster speed, between the layers of different vocal harmonies that skip the catchy measure by measure melody to work on a greater scale. These patterns can only be heard from above.

It's really impressive forward looking debut from these guys. As much as I want to peg them to that AC sound after listening to the A-Side again, I know it's only one side (pun intended) of the story here, A happy coincidence of super talent.

Go pick this up from Inflated Records, who also have a great Ducktails 12" on WFMU that I'll be reviewing in the near future as well as another single from this wunderkind.

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