Thursday, March 8, 2012

Metal Ghost / Porcupine split on Big Action Records

Got this split in from Big Action Records out of Minnesota, another label that's been quietly chugging away since the late nineties, putting out bands they like from their neck of the woods...another real inspiration of DIYGD. That's with an extra 'god damn' at the end because a lot of people have great ideas or talk about putting records out, "Man, I could have put out a record with whatever band, but it didn't work out". These guys are doing it, year after year, spending their money on making records..and breaking even! Which I am kind of shocked about, only because it seems to be damn hard from everything I've heard...but probably it's because they know what's happening in their neighborhood intimately, they know what's good, who they want to behind. But enough about all of that, let's get to this split from Metal Ghost and Porcupine.

Metal Ghost is a duo from Copenhagen and Berlin, ex-members of 18th dye and playing heavy hitting drums and all varieties of scuzzy bass. This particular track, "Did You Know That" is labeled the (kindi frost winter mix) and normally the idea of remixes would put me off right away...the band filtered through someone with dance intentions? That never works out well, but in this case I honestly didn't even realize until checking out the label later. It has a pretty nice shine to the whole track, it's sounds huge and produced, but nicely there's nothing that sounds totally out of place or for the sake of putting your fingerprints all over everything. The best remix DJ just might be the one you don't even know is there. This is feeling a lot like Deerhoof's weirdo rhythms and anti-hooks, strange repetitions of odd timings plus a Death From Above blown out bass sound and groove. Heike's delicate layered vocal plays against the gritty metal edges and electronic percussion, it's packing the most possible contrast into the duo. Decidedely head banging, she packs short bursts of lyrics in between huge solid groove phrases. There's a brief moment of all handclaps and distorted bass... who doesn't love those kinds of breakdowns? Then even getting Blonde Redhead post rocky...super solid and structured.

The B-Side from Porcupine, "Rooftops", starts out with a echo-y layer of half-sad picking that bursts into a funky bass groove fashioning a tiny equation with intricate picking and downward strums. The slightly distorted vocals working on their own path, completely separate from the main melodies...really thought out, and pushing those little details to their limits. Porcupine is also playing around with a similar huge pop sound, straining into the mics during the chorus over an equally mathy foundation, and even those center stage basslines. A lot like Pinback with a dose of something like The Walkmen, building that epic height of layered unnatural vocal for a brief moment of not-enough. High falsetto math rock indie emotion. They aren't just pencil pushers.

Fold out 3 color matte ink on cardstock on spicy mustard color vinyl, band stickers and download card on Big Action Records.

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