Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Pharmacy - Dig Your Grave EP on Kind Turkey Records

Before Bobby left with The Hussy to go tour for nine thousand years he sent me a few of Kind Turkeys latest releases, The Lonesome Savages and this one from The Pharmacy, a trio who are solidly crafting a organ fused pop garage at home in the multitrack studio or a concrete underground bunker.

"Dig Your Grave" is already setting expectations high with this piano riff and spazz tempo hat start, there's even full blown strings on this one, an epic orchestral feel for the kick to come stomping in. There's a slight distortion on Scott Yoder's sleepy vocal, until this chorus kicks in and they lose their minds over a punchy synth. Checking out their wiki page this morning, you start getting a sense of how this weird combination of synth/organ heavy rock evolved. Friends from high school into the Unicorns and ELO became the backing band for Kimya Dawson and ended up here....oh, definitely.
Impeccably separated and polished this has some of that Black Keys blues soul but a lot more unhinged with this warbly organ that speeds up and out at the end of this one.
"Pines" then play to their poppier, fun side, twinkly keys and more harmonies appear, leave it to anything on Kind Turkey to be an EP, even at 33 these guys come up with concise gleaming brief pop. I know there are guitars here, but all I'm hearing is synths in an un-electronic way, the hammonds and farfisa's.... there's still a great way to have this stay organic and humanized with instrumentation that shouldn't go that way.
This whole side is really precise... they've been out o the garage for a while now, beating great organ riffs into reel to reels before moving on to the rest of the song, with great results.

B-Side's "Lazy Bones" was recorded at Goveners Island, NY, and that back sleeve note caught my eye, aside from sounding completely different than the A-Side, in the best way. I'm into this raw, huge empty room sound, the inside of an abandoned concrete structure, the reverb, slow dance guitar, bouncing off the corners, fading in and out the imperfections of the tape winding through the capstans. Still rocking that great bass organ sound, (by he way I keep remembering there's only three members, so where is this organ coming from ...or this blown out xylophone?), the instrumental imperfections and over-modulation are making this track, it's even split between channels, but the warble you get from these frequencies at super high volume is just perfect.
"Burn your bridges" then is a fingerpicking electric track with a Beatles complex harmony sound, possibly joined by an unnamed lady friend in this acapella number about literally bridges being burnt and seagulls shitting on them. Super raw tremolo, great warm tones, this one recorded somewhere in New Orleans...I love that you're getting a taste of the road on this side as opposed to the high glam studio. Solid, with a great cover photo.

Get this one direct from Kind Turkey who says:

Seattle’s THE PHARMACY have spent the majority of the last decade touring the US and Europe relentlessly on their infectious brand of pop garage. In between tours they’ve released a slew of singles and three critically acclaimed LPs, cementing them as the current purveyors of the pop garage genre. Frontman SCOTT YODER concocts epic pop gems that aren’t obscured by mountains of fuzz or clched lyrics—all while staying true to their lo-fi perspective on sound. Four songs in all. 2/3rds of THE PHARMACY play in the bedroom pop band FUZZY CLOAKS!

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