Monday, August 22, 2011
Dragons Power Up!/Puppies and Trains split on Guilt Ridden Pop Records
After over 6 years of posting about seven inch vinyl, have I talked about every label out there? No way.
I'm not even talking about labels that just started up in the past year...in fact liz just mentioned The Art of the Underground Records the other day that has been compiling their subscription series for the past 4 or 5 years! Never heard of them.
My point is, this is a deep, and even with the internet, endless pit of discovery.
Here's another label, Guilt Ridden Pop Records, who sent over their latest split between Dragons Power Up! and Puppies and Trains, both from St. Paul, Minnesota along with Garrison Keillor...or at least he talks about their hometown, a lot. So now that you have that context, forget it, both of these guys are going for big, slickly produced, classic pop rock.
Puppies and Trains, submit "Behold A Pale Puppy" on their side, and let me just say that their drummer is a complete maniac. Truly some kind of technical feat of speed, but not completely over the top either. It keeps the whole thing glued and racing. The chorus, with it's Guided By Voices layered vocal feel, and indie power chords is dominated by this power hitter, he's clearly the hardest working one on this track. No, that's not fair, but you know those jokes about drummers...they don't apply to Jimmy Olson, so stop giving him shit! Thankfully he gets a brief break during the verses with the relaxed indie strum but it's all being built back up for the massive come back about every 30 seconds. Maybe that's what's making this feel practically like a punk pop track, blown out energy with an indie rock foundation, reminding me of My Valuable Hunting Knife.
The other side has Dragons Power Up! and their track, "Sea Legs". They get a slow tempo groove going with big power chords fading out to feedback for a full measure...they have that indie pop style of Apples in Stereo with a post-punk array of changes, measured bursts of changes that could well be miniature Tortoise movements. It's all leading to this epic chorus by the finish where all the ocean narrative comes to a head:
But your compass is golden!
and your sextant is golden!
and the horizon is golden!
and your sealegs are golden!
In a sort of prog rock synth backed grand finale. Everything looks pretty good today, the ships on course, everythings going to be alright. Like the Annuals single, Brother, it comes as a bit of a surprise just how giant a sound they manage to work up. Kermit's got a great vocal here, subtle melodies, up front in the mix, working on this sea story, changing phrasing along with the stumbling rhythm and when he hits that epic finish, you get it.
On red vinyl, with download codes. I would say email the label directly at guiltriddenpop-at-aol and ask about getting a copy...or from the bands facebook pages, links above.