Thursday, September 27, 2012
The Unwed Teenage Mothers on Speakertree Records
I've been emailing back and forth with Blair from Speakertree Records the past few weeks, he put out that great Cloud Nothings full length a while ago, on sky blue marbly vinyl I might add...the one that started it all. The second I heard a track somewhere on someone's blog...or maybe it was a single, I had to track down the label and hear more of the bedroom multilayered recordings of Dylan Baldi. I love Turning On, I like his recent stuff as well, but for me it's always amazing to hear the very first effort of someone like this, what can be done with next to nothing, no audience yet even...I guess it's about that perfect moment when no one else is even involved...it's completely pure in some inexplicable way.
The reason I'm even talking about Dylan is that this single from The Unwed Teenage Mothers sounds a lot like those collaged, cut and paste pop songs on that album, with a glam/garage focused twists and turns. Colin Sneed is the bass drum (and snare, etc) in the Bass Drum of Death along with three other gentlemen and this sounds a lot like Colin endlessly messing around, Adam Widener style at all hours.
"If You Think Your Lonely Now" hit me with all the home craftiness that Turning On did, because this is obviously a label completely after my heart and every last spareable dollar. The track is completely optimistic, with a far off, under a matress vocal and insane attention to these hooks, they're completely deliberated, hours of spontaneous chord contemplations. It's all here...the choppy boosted low end and the room tone of all kinds of spaces, direct line in guitars, and empty concrete rooms...the layers all lining up in support of this heartbreaking pop song. Sad because it sounds like there's so much of the band invested in this, how they're trying to make it sound like it's not a big deal. Like those moments when Sebadoh would almost go too far, but somehow still got away with it. They make an upbeat pop sound while the content goes exactly the opposite, overcompensating almost for not meaning to blast you with so much raw sunshine. "FFI" the second one, did I mention this is a four song EP? What else would come out of this home pop? There's a real muted and echo'd vocal under the instrumentation, and again...that's what I love about this sound, it's got a sense of space, the tiny bedroom, a cavernous basement, it gives the track a weird sense of time also. You inherently feel it must have all been completed at different times, pieced together during different moods... An acoustic slowly works it's calm way out of the haze by the end and I love the callback to the foundation of this one. It was always there, you get that sense of where it came from...that bluesy beginning, and end up going glam. Sugary fun, pop tracks, intimately fawned over. Like Jeff Novak demo tracks, a huge amount of pure talent... all unfiltered, unpolished....the best kind, perfect for a seven inch.
"Why does it have to be tonight?" on the B-Side crafts a heavy phaser, wet guitar track... all these pieces are so heavily thought out, they carry that frantic, pop energy but are really skillfully thought out. There's a careful attention to detail in all the punches...like this backup singing and spazzy drums. The vocals are still super buried, giving him room to really belt this out, but weirdly it's taking me back to something like Sebadoh rather than straight garage rock. I guess I'm hearing the seriousness... it isn't a jokey, drunken mess. It feels like a huge elephant carefull stepping around the furniture, massive and incredible.
"Rain" takes the fuzz and just pounds away in this steady beat, a few layers of strum, all jammed together, getting a capella almost, a sort of JAMC with multiple thin, english layers...into Happy Monday bouncing dance places. Heavy fuzz comes back with a classic, beefy rock style, all the the pieces carefully placed into this intricate mosaic. Some english glam and so much harmony under this distortion sound. Not an strangling wall...a warm blanket.
Lot's of experimentation from guys who know their way around an instrument or two, and a hell of a catalog to draw from in their head. From Speakertree Records...who have a physical store by the way...run by the guys from Harding St Assembly Labs.