Friday, July 6, 2012

Porcupine on Hang Up / SP Records

A while back I talked about this split from Metal Ghost and Porcupine on Big Action Records and the guys from Porcupine happened to have put out another single on Hang Up and SP Records and sent me a copy. The trio from Wisconsin is really nailing this late '90s alternative sound, mixing aspects of shoegaze with the return of the electric guitar in Seattle.

A-Side's "Witness to a Chase Scene", as a matter of fact is sounding heavily like Dinosaur Jr. from that time period, beyond just the crisp, dense layered guitar sound it's the sound of someone who's really paid attention to the distortions themselves. The big screechy side and the chunky lower end crunch....all coming off really polished and beefy, you have to give credit to the recording engineers here who manage to faithfully keep this anchored to the guitar in a great way. They've traded that close mic'd whine for a vocal with smooth dual layered sheen, sounding like Buffalo Tom or Foo Fighters. Even at times an almost prog vocal, real emotive capable of rising through the scales against clean drums and bass and earthy deep distortion tones, the whole thing rightly leaning on this riff continuing throughout.

B-Side's "Evil twin" fades in a far off radio transmission to start the slide guitars, and harmonic hovering above the fretboard single notes, adding up to a kind of blue collar rock altrnative sound. Not trying to really invent anything, just using the standard elements to their maximum potential...hitting these real nice grooves and dropping out with this bassline and harmonics throughout. "Dare You To Jump" brings back some of that mathy sound from their previous single; huge slappy distorted bass, complex electric melodies...maybe this has a thin far off Dave Grohl sound, a slick sound with that loose epic riff style. Ths guitar crunch keeps this sounding slightly classic rock to me along with the just off the center of the mic yelling into space with a Rush type of odd melody, matching the guitar for every weird scale note...switching between this kind of nerdy real complex performance to straight up three chord rock out is like Mudhoney with a side of Don Caballero?

Something of a mixed message on the sleeve, the robotic LED style name and this 60s mod girl leaning on a television, I almost expected these guys to have gone shaggadelic baby. Lots of inserts (which are always appreciated, this is a physical made it this far to the doorstep, anything above and beyond helps to set the tone) sticker, xerox liner notes, and download card. Get it direct from Hang up Records.

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