Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Diver Dress S/T EP on the Minneapolis Record Collective

The guys and gal from Diver Dress out of Minneapolis, MN sent in is this single just after the new year (I'm getting way behind) and their minimal, homemade packaging is a humble beginning of this end game in hazy garage fuzz.

"Sink" the first one on the A-Side takes that garage echo sound to a new height (or low)... according to the liner notes their secret weapon was a broken Roland Space echo the entire recording was crammed through right before pressing. The kind of desperate document that comes from boredom and talent and friends getting together. Maybe due to the winter months of this northern town or those extreme seasons that give birth to this west coast reinterpreted strangeness. A band like Diver Dress removed from that San Fran/beachy scene is somehow mining a lot of that same sound from a completely different part of the country. Cavernous guitar sounds and loose laid back pop and the lengths of these tracks give a lot away too. Like The intelligence or G.Green even, this has all those layers which don't overstay their welcome. "Untitled 1" has a strange groove beat, this one is built on the jagged outcrops of a stuttery high hat, that bass line out on its own with hazy power chords ringing... changing the rhythm every measure, or verse. This has incredible timing that never quits, down to this drawn out pauses. Pure avant pop that goes a little hardcore and then slides right into this dreamy melodic piece. Getting dirty and cleaning itself back up again. They don't just sit in this great reverb garage moment, instead poised on cue to mix it up. A short attention span....but I'm listening to a seven inch right? I get it. "Untitled 2" has a bigger reverb sand vibe with blown out vocals, sounding like those early days of Nodzzz. I guess I had to bring up that touchstone single whenever this sort of raw surf, laid back, cut-offs come to town. More of their weird timings are present here, from tom tribal beats to spazzy pounding thumping punk with a chorus vocal from the entire band...the hard fought camaraderie you can hear. The phasers are out of wack, slipping behind themselves. Change that rhythm again, like this is some kind of freaking sample! Accents of No Age with the spaz of Abe Vigoda, played on a Wounded lion record player.

B-Side's "Too Late" is mammoth, there's just no getting around it. Chop up the rhythm again and even bring in the staple element of psych pop, the tambourine. A bit of Wavves attitude here, from that first scuzzy album...with the wheelbarrow handplant on the cover. We can all get into the pizza, atari and weed scene... and I want someone to live that fantasy but it's broken when it starts becoming a fucking cultural zeitgeist. When it's clean it's going to suck. When are people going to understand this shit is the most important part of the sound? The spontaneity, the accidents and naivety of the textures on this adds up to something infinitely better than years in the studio. As far as I'm concerned anyway. "Spiders" takes their surf sound and stabs it into the late '70s metal era with big chords. Stutter-y rhythms, switch to the jangle, from big bursts of crunchy fuzz to slamming tom solos, squealing space distortions. They've got something really amazing here. Melodic garage with lots of catchy pockets and taking notes from the greats, the fuzzy layered greats. The looseness works in their benefit... in pure punk style they're forgetting everything they ever learned about these pieces of wood with pickups and get to work under a haze of effects, but constantly skimming the melodies on the surface.

I love this chipboard sleeve from the great depression... a crane shot of all the auto caravans stuck on the highway, immobile. They have a bleak sound after all, that's the punk side coming out at the end of the day with their hand spray painted inner labels.
An insert with listening advice I disagree with...not the drugs part...but headphones! What is this ambient electronica? No! Fire up some separated god damn big thrift store speakers and turn up the buzzy fuzz. This needs to be shared...I don't expect someone to be bopping out to this solo on the train with those awful white burglary magnets. It's too weird.
Pick this up over at their blogspot page.

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