Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sic Alps - Breadhead EP on Drag City

Just wanted to mention another release from Drag City, this one is a seven inch from Sic Alps, who I've been checking out since the Semi Streets single on Skulltones, they always seemed to be working with all kinds of influences, garage, some pounding punk, experimental distortion and like the Ty full length from yesterday, this one seems to be exploring a similar 60's psyche sound in the Fresh and Onlys, White Fence ways. But when you look back at their involvement with Hospitals, The Coachwhips and Comets on Fire, it makes perfect sense.
A-Side kicks off with the title track, "Breadhead" is it a coincidence Ty's full length had something to do with bread? I don't think so. They got together, flying the same flag for DC.
They start the track out with that a slow reverb rhythm melody repeatedly punctuated by great splintered distortion, just banging out a crunchy mess of almost glitch rock, sounding like this barely contained force, overflowing with distortion. It gets away from the end it bubbles over and destroys the stove. Like a tesla coil, sparking at inopportune times. It's a signature Sic Alps sound on this single at least, to create a mellow catchy psyche vibe and then introduce this otherworldly distortion. It doesn't phase the rest of the sound, plodding on with that booming tom beat.
"Jammy Soc" turns the reverb up with a ringing acoustic, and huge whispered harmony from Mike Donovan, panning back and forth across the speakers. A barely hit drum rhythm is trying to stay in the background with subtle hits, a creepy shoegaze feel that ends with the tape warbling to a stop. Remember when cassette's would get eaten in the car stereo? I don't miss that.
On to the B-Side's "1/3 Rabbit Sandwich with Fries", I would try that, anything weird on a menu, they get me every time, even if it isn't a whole sandwich. This one feels like that ramshackle rehearsal space jam, loud falsetto PA vocals over the sludgy rhythm of slow acoustic and an assortment of shakers, tambourines, bells. You could hear the fun layering in everything in the closet.
"Can't You See" then explodes with pure '60s influenced psyche-pop, the perfect amount of reverb strumming along, pounding snare, humming bassline, they found a perfect groove to wrap the whole thing back up in expert songwriting. Mike layering a front slightly distorted soul delivery over a quieter backup falsetto vocal. Bringing it all back to the Animals or Kinks...hey, I've been finding out they had some pretty good stuff going on back then, maybe because this is actually a Bob Marley cover? WHAT!

I had no idea they have another single coming out in a few days.. again on Drag City, and 2(!) double albums out with these guys already, put all these together and you'd have nine million hours of Sic Alps. I want.

1 comment: