Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lives of the Obscure - "Deathfete" on Glacial Records



It’s enough just to focus on the music scene directly in my own backyard of Brooklyn too often, and unintentionally ignore the entire rest of this giant state. I’m always reminded by the seven inch of other great scenes documented not far away in Western upstate by Big Neck Records and Glacial Records, based in New Paltz who sent in this single from Lives of the Obscure who are keeping their own bio somewhat obscure. I do know that this single started out with Nicholas Haines as a collection of fragments that has since developed into this EP of sorts entitled “Deathfete”.

On the A-Side track, "Sins Like These”, a false start stutters with heavily gated guitar dropping notes right into this ultra-polyrhythmic beat, the kind of leaning toward experimental off kilter patterns used by Tom Waits and it's worth it. A double kick with plenty of space and a jazzy influenced high hat. Singles are built on beats like this, and the melody works slowly against the heavy groove and high register, ballad style chorus. This rhythm continuously almost tips this into a dance-rock place, but the guitar has different ideas, aspiring to a new wave nostalgic combination of The Psychedelic Furs and The Strokes. An arty wave, straight-ahead rock that should have been attempted more by now. They commit to epic minimal sound with all the polish of those late '80s Talking Heads with that bit of art upbringing setting it apart and kooky in the right way, finished with the precision and depth of those huge studio productions. All the pieces meticulously secured into place. With the most thread bare melody, you get the sense Nick doesn't even need the guidance of a tune, just give him this beat, he’s ready to go.

"Skin of the Sun" on the B-Side is grounded in another heavy kick beat while Nick’s distorted rushing through vocals with great lyrics: “…heads like billiard balls…”. A quick laying down of spastic dance and rapid fire vocals hidden under a layer of static, coming from someone else. There seems to be a dark edge to these, no matter how deceptively upbeat and seducing these rhythms sound, they end up in the epic bummer jam category, depressing and almost inspirational, like Interpol. It’s going to be an entirely different animal recreating this live, and they’ve been up for the challenge, recently playing around Milbrook the beginning of this year.

Pick this up from their bandcamp page or from the label direct.


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