Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Jason Frederick / Love Story In Blood Red on Eau Records
Sam Martineau has been combining his art practice with vinyl seven inches, something I am a huge fan of, using the sleeve space as a blank canvas for his collage work, individually composing each one. I think I found mine among the 300 or so examples on his site, and it's a cooler solution then printing them commercially, and fits perfectly with, in this case, Jason's own handmade recorded sound.
A-Side's "Ohio" starts out with applause that dies out into a thinly recorded hissy stormer. Lots of energy, with an overdubbed vocal in a Guided by Voices style... or like G. Green, he's doing everything himself on this one, playing it all in this bedroom/demo style. Jangly guitar, with a haggarded desparation, singing into an old telephone, with a tiny bit of garage feel, all the layers peaking into crash cymbals. I think this sort of energy makes more sense when it's all coming out in a dam breaking scenario like this. Why would you be quietly singing in the middle of the night into the 4-track? Unless you're completely beaten and at the end of your rope. But this is a release of a lot of bullshit... major therapy building to the eventual collapse drum solo freakout. Everything falls apart into more applause and a tv sample about livestock. Liner notes say this was recorded in Ohio, and I'm not sure it's casting a very nice light on the experience there in the end. Full of promise, built up expectations and then complete and utter destruction.
"Build You Up" features Jason with his full band project, Love Story in Blood Red. There's a crisp, pro sound on this side, getting the whole band in sharp focus this time. Plenty of backup vocals that he's managed to corral as opposed to that out of control demo sound. This '50s indie pop is a complicated number with everyone stepping in musically with their various parts, a solo here, breakaway from the main melody there. I'm interested in this clear version of events, this time full of that optimistic direction with everyone singing "build you up / don't wanna get you down" over and over. The piano's, rigid drums, and structed guitar all adds up to a jilty bouncing unassuming number, that's celebrating this person sincerely. You should be so lucky.
Handmade covers from Sam at Eau Records, various screens, handpainting and assembled collage elements in an edition of 500.