Friday, November 18, 2011

San Francisco Water Cooler on SunSneeze Records

San Francisco Water Cooler contacted me about their new single on SunSneeze Records and I threw it on this morning not expecting the '90s style hazy indie pop from the trio...or the number of solid catchy tracks on this 33 long playing EP. it's completely suited to these guys who seem to excel at creating a little burst of noisy guitar melody, complete with a twisting Mascis solo to boot.
(By the way, this name even made me pause for a second and question if I really truly believe that a band name means nothing. Indie rock since the late nineties has hamfistedly shattered meaning attached to any band's been well worked over you can't give these guys shit. Hey, I love that Liquor Store was named by a bouncer.)

"Kool Shoes", sets the tone for the EP's overall texture which is definitely high (as in treble) fuzzy guitar stabs, I've read some comparisons of them and TNV, but this feels more indie blown out in the way that it's been recorded at just slightly too loud, they're just plain full of energy, and not necessarily because of such a distinct reel to reel choice of compression, or lack of, let's say. Vocals across the release seem to be the entire band singing along, low and banished to the background, with a synthy layered guitar solo on this one.
Do they even believe in bass? There's a bit of psyche-pop here too, like the Ganglians maybe? "Summer Sun", is more sound of a classic indie guitar melody and the bunch of dudes singing along in the backing tracks is all buried still, but I like the slightly out of tune looseness, it's a big hazy sound, heavy on distortion. I'm not sure why exactly but it's even taking me back to By Musket and Sextant, or GBV...or even seeing Sebadoh last week, playing all of Bakesale live, you're reminded of how straight ahead rocking this is, and it's not just because I listened to it for weeks on's that period when they evolved back around to being really produced and controlled, but you got to the heart of that songwriting...and it's really aged well. San Francisco Water Cooler might be working in that in between space...they've skipped the home demo acoustic era, right into the Dinosaur Jr. 1st album era, and it's coming off as pretty classic.
"July" has a more intimate picked melody, with a heavy tom rhythm, and once this ends up blown out again in the chorus it's in a more mellow Husker Du way. If there's one thing these guys are hitting home, it's the ability to craft a solid, complex burst of a wall of pop out of a single guitar. It sounds pretty intimate and honest, there isn't any effect for the sake of a weird sound. It's like Real Numbers they're using what everyone else is, so how does this sound so good?
They're really into those brief dirty solo's...
The B-Side seems to go over to the heavy side of things, (the Jason Lowenstein side?), with "Bankshot", minor riffs, off key monster chords, odd vocal phrasing...those out of sync changes from something like Sebadoh's "Got it", with an equally dissonant solo this one fades out into feedback and drone tones...a weird choice I guess since there's a pause before the next track, but I guess they want you to get your money's worth. "Vacancy Sender" captures that indie sludge once again, like the more experimental punk offering on Bubble and Scrape, then goes blues/country with feedback, a see saw ride but most of all they end this EP with a commitment to re-cement the guitar back into classic indie rock. Never forget.

Go check out the tracks for yourself and pick this up on Sunsneeze records.

No comments:

Post a Comment