Friday, February 17, 2012
The Brabazons on Artistic Records
Got this single from the Brabazones, not these Brabazons, but the band from Montreal, Canada, yet another hotbed of music innovation, including this damaged psych-punk single over on Artistic Records. I have to say, this thing really took me by surprise this morning, both sides are completely nuts in combining a lot of those taken for granted '60s garage, blues sounds and then reworking them in entirely contemporary ways like Seth from Useless Eaters or Ty Segall....hell you could even hear a little of the old drunken washboard Doo Rag feel at times, they're getting into the depths of an extreme sound, a new sub-basement of the garage.
Side A, "Cling On", gets right into their crazy kind of dirty blues sound, right down the scale...with a croak of distortion, a low guttural warble of lower end electric (?)....but it quickly devolves into an approximation, a shadow of that history. Everything here instead is a clean representation of this crunchy sound, and I know I'm contradicting myself, but this isn't lo-fi, or getting sneaky by hiding the melody, but they still keep the spontaneous rhythm and blues roots, the thin speaker sounds from a hollow body guitar, telephone cord 1/4 inch jack. The vocals here have such varied echo's, taking that reverb dial and cranking it all the way out at the end of every line. Completely game changing... what you have to eek out of the rattling mess of frantic plucked string notes that barely make it out of the melody. They're blowing the doors off where anyone was reasonably willing to go in this punk garage sound. Go listen to all the songs on their informational website.
B-Side's "Ma Babby" uses some crazy MXR blue box sound, a real damaged distortion, the tones harmonizing into some kind of synth blues mess... even slightly middle eastern? It's the sound of a distortion pedal dying, squeezing every last drop of sound out of its demise, then this things picks up into a heavy rocker, screaming bleats of vocals, becoming somewhat instrumental, just pure spaz vocal expression. Drumsticks are flying with Bob Log III abandon, flying off the rails...until it takes a left turn into a completely new sounding track altogether with this sludgy underwater blowout. This isn't even the same song, huge organ tones and the farthest, biggest reverb ever committed to vinyl. A molasses freakout dream, which comes crashing back into the "ma baby" vocal over and over, a crazy parody of the era... no a complete rewriting of echo/garage history (phaser?//!!! wtf). An unassuming triumph.
If you care about those sounds from the echo caverns in nashville, or the dirty warehouses in detroit then get on board with the Brabazons! Start taking notes...they just changed the book.
Puzzling sleeve of a mysterious photo still, shirtless weirdo, black and white with someone lounging in a library/den with some Florida's Natural OJ on the reverse. Black vinyl from Artistic records. They are doing everything right.... someone to put out a full length or another single.
I will buy at least one.