Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Diving Bell - 'China my china' on FIN Records

Fin Records out on the other coast in Seattle has scoured every last stationary supplier for these crazy colored paper sleeves for their singles. I've never seen anyone use this turquiose before. I wonder if they're all handcrafted at the FIN headquarters, along with the embossing of every mylar sleeve...going the distance in production for their late, a second single from The Diving Bell.

A-Side's "China, my China" kicks off with a staccato indie guitar riff, when suddenly underpinnings of acoustic and bass take over in their big, expansive sound that was at work on their last one. Andy's baritone vocal is back too, sounding like an optimistic Peter Murphy, filling the track, front and center. There's a nice breakdown part with a thin church organ tempo to slow things down for a second to punch it back up again.
Can't decide if this track is about this character, China... or the country. Or if they're deliberately confusing the two. From geography to a mood and back again. Lots of call and response in Andy's vocal, a thin, compressed version of himself singing back during that chorus. Upbeat, with a real groovy double time bass rhythm driving this way into sparkling, handcrafted, small batch pop.
B-Side's "Cross Dressing friends" then takes things into slow spin disco ball territory with that title vocal, the first line. Vocally getting a little more depressed and bluesy, the lights are going down. The guitar working on those big strumming riffs with a bigger tremolo. Huge drawn out solo over a rhodes organ is the name of the game here...getting real classic.
This narrator is basically trying to get the friend to relax...I like how specific he is on this one:
tomorrow go back to delivering babies
tomorrow go back to running this country

I won't ruin the end, but they won't be playing cuba anytime soon.

Clear vinyl, handnumbered, heavy green sleeve from FIN Records, ancient science textbook illustrations...apparently this is the second part of a tryptich. Collect them all.

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