Friday, December 2, 2011

The Gang Violets on All Hands Electric

Got a single in today from a local label All Hands Electric which isn't far away... in the gowanus section of fact they might have been neighbors with the old Issue Project Room that used to be out there in a huge silo shaped building on the polluted canal. Really awesome weirdo space actually that sort of mirrored the variety of serious art/music they had there. All Hands Electric have been around possibly longer than that venue from the looks of their extensive catalog, and was founded by a talented group of musicians who decided to put out their own records, which puts me completely behind this release already from The Gang Violets. This husband and wife duo also share coasts and in between get a whole lot of friends to contribute to the chorus of voices on "Black Clouds", which has this loose Lou Reed country jam feel. My whole introduction to Lou Reed was that "Dirty Boulevard" song, his cool voice, over bare bones electric, (the video is exactly as blunt as it shouldn't be...this was Lou Reed? Jesus.) and this is working in that general direction. Jim Schwartz has the same deep, real serious delivery and with this huge varied vocal accompaniment, it has something of a kids singalong album temperment...(Did Lou record a kids album?). Raw jangly honley tonk guitar, from that time and part of the country where people just played music to each other for enjoyment because there wasn't anything else to do. The Gang Violets are having the same kind of join along unpretentious fun...when this one starts to fade it comes back with a Velvet Underground "Heroin" speed up, faster and faster. Am I the only one hearing this? Seriously...did I listen to a lot of those guys lately or something?
The B-Side, "A Touch From A Wild Child", opens with some synthtastic sine waves into a more indie Fleetwood Mac sound with acoustic guitar, accordion and handclaps, and this time the vocals aren't coming off as directly a descendant of VU, more layered with optimistic harmonies, but still in a gypsy-country way. An american Beruit sound, mining all of those backwoods sincere influences, the porches of these united states.
Great sleeve of pieced together photos of billboard letters, which reminds me of JAMC for some reason, black vinyl in an edition of 200 with download card, from All Hands Electric:

Traveling band, The Gang Violets, play eclectic music as they gypsy their way between Long Beach, CA and Brooklyn, NY. Their blend of psychedelic americana effortlessly shifts from sunshine-pop to space-rock, while making more than a few country, folk, and blues detours along the way. Side A kicks off with "Black Clouds", a tune that rises up like a campfire despite moody lyrics, and is impossible to forget with its hook laden cadences, elated group vocals, whispery calls, gospel swagger, and swooning closure. Favoring an eclectic pop aesthetic that recalls early Beck as well as the highs from The Brian Jonestown Massacre, these tunes are are just mere hint as to what this band is capable of!

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