Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Cocktails on Father Daughter Records
Jess emailed me about the latest single on Father Daughter Records, their newest signing, the san francisco power-pop band, cocktails. I loved how this 4 song EP combines scuzzy garage through an old transistor radio with power harmony punk... wouldn't you know it this has Matthew Melton's (and Rob Good's) recording and mixing hand all over this. The hit machine himself, the Phil Spector of blown out guitar and power punk sonic experimentalism. This record is a perfect sum of these parts and a damn fine debut.
A-Side's "No Blondes (In California)" has the most underwater, muffled drum kit sound of all time! Is this even live or some piece of junk, chopped sample? Twinkling triangle?! Ballsy choices with reverb peppy vocals and the beach sweet harmony! You forgot already that we haven't even gotten to the chorus yet. A solid, warm organ, thin background scuzz guitar...leave it to Matt to keep finding a new way to deliver this wired garage sound. Taking the rainbow of harmony and giving it a faded leather jacket, it's got the right balance, like Hunx, the throwback, homage sound faithfully echoing that era, but snarling in it's face at the same time. "Hitchhiking down the coast of CA, kids raging", these are the sentiments in the middle of a Northeastern snow storm...of course I'm jealous - they have all the fun. I would have to buy a car and play this nonstop, next to the ocean. Oh, but it's a record.
"Hey Winnie" crashes big cymbal hits, landing right on that downstroke. Back and forth guy/girl vocals are making this even greater. A Heavy psych phaser solo... super pop nowhere near the garage, no dirt on this gleaming pile...well, not the regular sort of hissy dirt anyway. If Honeydrum went and practiced the guitar for a long while.
"Willowbrook Lane" on the B-Side has a bouncy bassline with layers of crisp electric and acoustic...is this a duet? This dude and a lady friend going over their strained relationship in a ballad rock way. It's also got a faded layer of '80s time life compilations in an Ariel Pink way, like these could be the lost recordings on The Miami Connection Soundtrack. Heavy pop and riffing guitar split into the left channel...reminiscing back and forth about high school. This captures perfectly that faded photo... I say screw you if you think music back then or from any time was better! The best stuff is happening right now dammit! Someone like Cocktails takes that nostalgic sentiment and combines it with contemporary dirty power punk! - No contest, call the record books.
It sucked all the feeling from the ballad,pop rock sounds of an '80s bmx movie and distilled down to three minutes, they studied those chorus guitar sounds and channeled Joan Jett... not snarly but more civilized asking 'Why you wanna let go?"
"Tear it to pieces" tosses a heavy scuzz vibe on this one along with a little classic rock. Oh god, the sweet layers of crunch, and the drop out of percussion, heavy under the hiss, ultra serrated metal comes in on one of the layers, with a Kinks garage, or a little Elvis costello here. A pure singalong groove, heavy with reverb and belonging to that '60s garage era which is quickly sounding like it's been ripping stuff like THIS off all along. A Looper situation.
Why does this sound like muscle cars and hot dogs? Handclaps and hammond organ. Perfect level of production, unpolished because this sound is perfect the way it is. It's not perfect - nothing is and that makes this all that much better.
BLONDE or black variations of perfection from Father Daughter records.