Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Figgs on Peterwalkee Records

It took a while to put this together with The Figgs from long long ago...I swear my friend Matt had a cassette from them in high school that always ended up in his car or mine. The name is definitely familiar, and after learning they're from upstate, I'm positive this has to be the same band - and here they are coming out with a new single on Peterwalkee Records, out of Buffalo...checking out their catalog they've been steadily documenting the upstate NY scene for a while now and this is the first time I've come across them, more proof that by the time I even attempted some kind of map keeping track of the labels it would be sadly outdated and irrelevant.

A-Side and the title track "Casino Hayes" is solidly rocking, slickly produced and the opening sweeping pysche warp riffs give away it's underpinning hard rock cards...a poker reference? Well ask Pete Hayes, who the song was written for by guitarist Mike Gent. It sounds like Pete earned the nickname from a slight obsession (if the song is even slightly biographical), "he stays / unshaved / he crazed" at the slots for days, splitting 3's on the blackjack table. I'd like to think I choose not to know anything about poker or gambling because I might try to make a living at it and spend my life obsessed on a corner trying to beat the system. The sleeve carries this gambling motif into a '50s looking pop art design, with chips on the reverse. It's a heavy rocker, punchy guitars up front in the mix and Gent emotionally pleading to Hayes with a string of clever rhymes counting the ways it's gotten out of hand, and it would take a band with an extensive history to carry an inside joke into a catchy power rock affair like this A-Side.
The B-Side, "Another Point of View" is previously unreleased and was penned by the other founding member Pete Donnelly. A more restrained, nearly alt-country rocker, populated with acoustic and a distant organ, focused more on the bands pop harmonies, it's a far too catchy breakup song about all the difficulties in this somewhat dysfunctional relationship. Keeping it upbeat, instead of wallowing in it, might come off as denial, but it's sold as a singalong pop decide.

Faded, faux preworn sleeve on marble light green vinyl with download card from Peterwalkee Records, who also has the 10th anniversary Figgs record, Sucking in Stereo for the first time on vinyl...super limited, so pick these both up.

No comments:

Post a Comment