Monday, July 23, 2012

Obvious Sampler #1 on Obvious Records

Another reason why I love seven inches is the handwritten note from Chris of the Dharma Dogs who are a part of this comp on Obvious Records. Chris is buddies with Bobby from The Hussy who recorded their track here and hopefully told those guys to send it in for a listen. It's a xeroxed, pixelated sleeve in an edition of 150. Super homemade, scuzzy production and I've got no doubt this is going to run the gamut of underground sound from across the midwest.

The A-Side starts out with the Stockyards and their track, "Goons of Dekalb" chunky bassline leading this off with stuttery chords of a ragged electric with a chorus from the band and all their friends oh-ing back and forth. It drops out quiet for a moment and the screamy vocals come in for the main vocal on this one, singing himself hoarse. There's a big time drum mix with that slappy tight snare and hissy cymbals, the guitar working it's way up from the bottom of this pit. Once they break for a minute and the vocals stop sounding like a tortured helium devil you get a sense of this one which is more concerned keeping up with the blasting of the PA. Sometimes you can't hear yourself, I get it. It's punk, who cares about these levels god dammit.
Next up is the Dharma Dogs track, "Hoka Hey" there's a hairy looseness to these guys with piles of distortion and reverb of course. Texture after texture slathered on this one... massively scuzzy with an eye on the big chord attack. A bassline kicks this off as well and the beefy mix has Bobby written all over it, with pieces slightly panned all across both speakers on this one. It's a huge sound, the low end finding grooves in-between this verse, half talking out the vocal, half singing delivery way back buried under the echo, a great springy plate reveeb on the scream, real dirty. They lose it towards the end of this one, uncontained. They've been waiting a while to let loose for first time on vinyl...can you really blame them?

B-Side has Phantom Scars "under my hood, which has this Blues Explosion sound here, find a riff, bend and blues it up with a little of that Jagger snarl.... they mention Suzy Quattro? Nice one. Big up front layered vocal, lots of attitude, weird plinky bass solo, but otherwise the phaser distortion is working nice. Really punk, sounding damn clean and pissed.
Inflatable Best Friend does "My Dead Bird" which was recorded already completely destroyed on a cassette player... shot up and warbled through dying batteries. I admire they're trying to work out this vocal dubbed in later over this layered hiss. The middle section is a complete breakdown going from 0 to 10 in a single verse, a damaged emo sound. I've got to be hearing some breathing on purpose. Brings back cassette recording in the gargage, piling up sounds, getting crazy with a new pedal, into the feel of being a rock star... what would they do? What am I going to do?
The Overheaters track "Broken Bones" - sometimes cymbals are recorded so loud they start to phase out, from warbling low into shimmery hiss, the recording can't handle the sound at all, and they mic close and play loud as hell. These guys come off with more of that big time attitude and sketchy punk... it's really crazy to hear the range of recording on this this, it's crisp and trebley this time, half whiny vocals with guitars riding all up in it, hitting the crashes into a phaser rhythm, everything sounds like it's running through this after the fact.

A range of scuzzy midwest punk on this one, the five bands on this thing ought to have pretty much gotten rid of these at their shows by now but Get it from Obvious Records bandcamp site.

Sample below:

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