Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Blanche Hudson Weekend / Horowitz split on Odd Box Records

Found the latest split from Odd Box Records in the review pile for today, I know I just saw an email that they are on to their second mailing batch in the split series club going on over there, so I'm guessing if you subscribe at this point you should get all 6, which is great, Blanche Hudson Weekend is a band I know I've come across before, but probably need a refresher and Horowitz is completely new to me. You know when you see sleeves like this, that the series is part of a unified whole, a sort of compilation if you will, and you're left making comparisons left and right to what comes next, where's the thread here? Do these guys know each other? What side vs. what side? Instead of just 6 records that came as part of the subscription...but I like when a band takes over the art too....I'm torn.

The Blanche Hudson Weekend, I was shocked to find still haven't released a full length yet...should be coming in October actually, but up until this point it's been comps and singles like this. They were an extension to Manhattan Love Suicides which I know I talked about at one point, and they sound to me like the girl group harmony, that they admit is influenced by that '60s Ronettes or Shangri La's, warped into a shoegaze, Lush or Blur dreamy pop, which has never really left. This layered dense pop structure of "If you're still together" can almost be off-putting, being so far removed from the raw stripped down sound of a garage trio, but then that's what makes it great in it's own right...being a bit mysterious, and completely atypical in todays musical climate. The high register ringing guitar delay against that tom tambourine rhythm is rolling in waves, when a band like this makes this fog of melody slowly creep up on you, the instrumentation bleeding into one another....well, that a great take on the MBV, JAMC tradition. The only problem must be, how do you make this stop? What's an acceptable ending once you take the time to delay this wall up....here they slowly fade it out, but it's still reverbing away in a room somewhere.

The B-Side, Horowitz does a track "Get Cleansed!", Odd Box putting these two together is a natural fit, with Horowitz on the other side of '90s indiepop you get the bouncy, shiny produced sound....when Psychedelic Furs were scoring films and the ramshackle twee sound of the Swirlies and all of K Recs was in it's infancy. The layers of vocals and guitars are still present, but they've been a lot more harnessed in favor of a specific melody here. The sort of surprise of effects is taken away so that jangly pop can be the focus, the next chord change, the next harmonic progression can have that stable footing. A lot like Bunnygrunt, the funloving happy pop is here to stay, that balance of heavily produced...or lets say composed tracks against that freewheeling attitude makes this twee or whatever you want to call it. The tracks ends with some of that improv guitar sound that appears way after the track ends...somewhat of a mini instrumental adding their own take on that sonic uncertainty both of these guys are trying to tame into pop.

Get it from Odd Box as part of their singles club, still reasonably priced for any type of shipping in favor of getting these great bands together under one entity, for your listening pleasure. Nicely done....again.

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