Thursday, March 21, 2013
Bobb Trimble on Mighty Mouth Records
It takes more than just an amazing story of an unappreciated musician releasing a ridiculously limited run of records years ago to get people excited about their music. If that were true we’d all be pressing tiny runs of lathe cuts – in the end it has to be about the music itself. R. Stevie, Rodriguez, Death or even that Mike Rep single Mighty Mouth reissued…it doesn’t mean a damn thing unless those artists are doing something interesting. In the end the only difference between Bobb and other musicians in the early ‘80s is that it took everyone else a while to finally appreciate it.
The A-Side track, "Take Me Home Vienna” starts with those infamous kids on the sleeve in the rehearsal space yelling at each other through reverb, "I'll tell you when to go loud! Ok?" Until really researching this one I half thought the kids were half a put on by Bobb, that he must be playing everything on his records and it was some kind of Jonathan Richman antics…although the Modern Lovers broke up because he insisted on playing VW halls and YMCA’s. But these kids aren't the ones putting on this super high falsetto or delivering a late '70s heart on it’s sleeve layers of acoustic guitar and punched in solos. It's got the kind of soul that happens because you aren't thinking about it, there’s no agenda behind these layers of acoustic picking or that single ladylike, warbling voice, with Prince style in this overemotional way:
A prisoner of your land / Take me home Vienna! / I know you'll understand
It's got sincere, lofty, ideals and almost delivers because they didn’t go into this knowing any better and couldn't be trying any harder. Like the Beaver Trilogy it's got a naivety that’s endearing, add the impassioned pleas to Vienna and it’s timeless in an outsider punk way. The delivery sells this, its emulating huge rock sounds from Boston or Foreigner and avoiding them at the same time. It’s the huge radio top 40 sounds of bands that happen to hit on those monster synth/guitar riffs that encapsulate an era. You want to hear what your talented friends would have put down on a reel to reel in 1980 if they could’ve found one? Here it is… and there’s an entire LP of this stuff? Harvest of Dreams? Wow.
In the B-Sides’ "Selling Me Short While Stringing Me 'Long", the drums are key to this sound here, completely giving away this time and place while making it utterly unique at the same time. A slight wet echo, bouncing around the vocal and you’d have to count Ween as fans of this kind of authenticity. Crazy synth adds to this sci-fi psych sound, almost otherworldly Bowie, piling on the phaser effects and pitch wheel moog tremolo. He got a lot of access to toys in the studio and this is bound to happen sooner or later, especially with the Kidds band. Bizarre instrumentation is what happens when you have six kids, all on guitar (according to the sleeve), hogging the effects pedals. Seriously outsider, the vocals layer up, all chorus with extended psych warble and swirl. Manipulated echo tape reel vocals pops up in the background. A dreamscape like that Eye in the Sky cover, an unbelievably weirdo melody. An anomaly... this severe throwback could have been carefully reconstructed by today’s standards, but something would be lost. This is the real deal reissue from 1981. Completely great.
Go get this from Mighty Mouth Records who are probably getting death threats from record collectors insane with anger, but they aren’t thinking about the kids who will be influenced by this magical single.
The full length reissues are out on Secretly Canadian for cheap - start with this single and then get the motherload.