Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Toddlers - You Can Keep the Wheels 7" lathe on Tangible Formats Records

Wesley from Tangible Formats set aside one of these clear lathe cuts from The Toddlers out of Chapel Hill, NC. A few emails back and forth and it turns out this is the Toddlers first release... Wesley was just such a huge fan of these guys he pretty much begged them to let him record them and put this out, and he did an incredible job, you would never know this was a lathe cut. It sounds incredible, really nice cut, all the subtlties are here with no surface noise at all, really impressive for being a one sided clear handcut record. If you are thinking about lathe cutting, definitely get in touch with Wes over there. The Toddlers look like they're touring all over NC this summer and are actually planning on releasing a full length this year.

On "You Can Keep the Wheels" these guys have a see/saw blues scale bassline happening over this uptempo snare march rhythm... a sort of White Light repeating psych style combined with that matter of fact vocal delivery of The Zoltars or The Johnny Ill Band. Telling it like it is without embellishment, like this tune, straight ahead, pretty rigid, laying it down in lockstep country style a little unique David Byrne fluttery vocal. Not as manic and kind of sweet... he doesn't have a leg to stand on though. He's been cheating, you have to call it. Saying you can't help it or it's in your nature...well... we know how that's going to fly. Now the song title makes a new kind of sense, he gets the car. The guitar jangle has been trained to strum right on the downbeat. Exacting, hardly changing, a pop Velvet Underground with a Roy Orbison vocal, completely in control of this high register quiver with his sense of ironic songwriting. A dissonant, squealing guitar solo breaks this concrete structure in the end... some kind of rebellion maybe, or just the utter frustration finally starts to show through.
Cool, detached feel, with a lot of '60s psych sound. Restrained and deliberate.

Nice foldover matchbook sleeve with song lyrics on the reverse and the '50s version of a family on the cover, or maybe that's Ron and Nancy Reagan?

The best part is that hidden spoken word track with the reading of the liner notes, hilarious. The needle stops in the inner lock groove before it even got there and I thought this inner off color center ring was just some artifact from handcutting, but lo and behold it's a guy talking about the release! Very cool and impossible to do on a regular press... take that mass production!

Check out the track and pick this up from Tangible Formats.

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