Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Albanian Mob Murder on Eastern Watts Records

Why do singles keep trying to scare the hell out of me with these minimal, what am looking at black and white sleeves?
It's not their fault, I think there's been far too many times you'd sit down with a sleeve like that and expect the worst, not in execution but content. I've been trained by the underground that when I see a homemade minimal sleeve like that it's going to be trouble. And then Albanian Mob Murders? Try to google that and not have nightmares. Well, you can see how'd I'd be already keeping the stereo low, waiting for the growl and metal guitar to pickup.

Instead this is a gritty, all distorted, no-fi single from Eastern Watts Records, and the 4 piece band is based out of the new lo-fi capital of the Northern Hemisphere, Columbus, OH. 2 guys, 2 girls, who provide most of the harmony vocals that are a contrast to this sludgy, underwater tempo and sound texture.

Side A, "Memphis" gets things going with a buried, muddy distorted guitar working a few slow chords, the drum track os beating a snare, kick, snare, kick, abbreviated tempo. It just doesn't ever pick up, adding to that hazy, can't wake up feel. There's a sort of Velvets in the garage raw sound to this, a real '60s girl group demo....and maybe it's even getting psychadelic because of the layers of grit and sort of works in the same altering of perception ways that the repetition aren't sure exactly what's being played here. It's all fed through another blown out mic after the session. Then layer on the ladies Vivian or Grass Widow style vocals, played at the wrong slower speed and you have a somewhat AMM sound.

"Drugs" has a feedback, close to the mic intro, and must be as half as slow as the A-side. It's the kind of sorrid, backwoods pro alcoholism couple theme song:
I love you a little / you like me a lot / let's both get back on drugs
Delivered in a barely awake country chorus slur. The guitarist is making a momentous effort to strum out the backup chords. It's another velvet underground molasses melody buried under the blankets of no-fi, from the side of the equation that has no self control, the clarity is gone from the content and the instrumentation. It's a stark Will Oldham sentiment and as close as you can get to falling asleep drunk from listening to a single. I'm afraid these guys might be hurting themselves too much to have a follow up, either that or the Albanian Mob in Columbus isn't going to take to kindly to seeing this on a marquee.

Get this lo-fi slow burner on Eastern Watts Records, not much out there about his band that I could find, they are just sober enough to record a couple of songs...not write a bio ...apparently this unearthed mystery is all you've got.

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