Thursday, May 2, 2013
Alien Father "World of Treble" - Self released
Some bands deliberately work in the far off fringes of anything resembling melodic sound. They tirelessly avoid anything resembling traditional ‘music’ to the point that if it’s accepted by too many people, they’re doing something wrong. It’s a calculated strategy to stay underground, continuously pushing the envelope and avoiding everything that other bands are doomed to repeat. It’s the sort of experimental aesthetic that lands you on the seven-inch format - the ultimate outsider weirdo table in the musical cafeteria.
Alien Father have banished themselves to this table for the last seven years and not so quietly have been pushing their own noise sludge rock into the far reaches of what could still be barely considered pop on this self released 4 song EP, “World of Treble”.
The A-Side opens with "Mankind" and a slow, old time organ not ready to give away the onslaught of power shoegaze about to drop. It’s a wall of distortions and higher range keys in a nice blend of home recorded, rehearsal space hiss. Bass lines drive the chord changes in the sound of piling on the entire range of western instruments and in the process getting an epic sound. It’s not easy to avoid pure untrained chaos that’s available anytime you walk through Times Square. Layers of vocals come in over this haze with a Lonesome Crowded West panic to them, a deliberate harsh yell pouring everything into this track including waves of kick drums. It’s an overwhelming beginning and the most accessible track if you like standing uselessly in the ocean surf punching waves. "Action Science" is a Helmet sounding beefy chord monster, with vocals to match in a mix of prog and punk. Possessed by a thundering monster melody, it’s matched by great weirdo lyrics like Spencer Krug fronting one of Jason Lowenstein’s Harmacy tracks. Almost an understated chanting turns into a talky anti-singing vocal in line with this low end. It’s a stoner rock raised and bred to keep a lot of the delicate changes intact while flailing mindlessly through the china shop.
B-Side’s "World of Treble" has the blue box space crunch from an MXR pedal, that synth guitar tone, mangled underwater and experimenting with hardcore gateway sounds. I like when these vocals are the opposite of expectation, like on old Eric’s Trip records, the music is emotional and the vocals aren’t. Curtis and Dave must be trading off lyrics here and it's a nice contrast to the layers of bubbly pop, lead guitar strangeness and their additive sound process while that chorus goes back to a snug melody. "You are dead" packs in maximum density with a matter of fact style, heavy synth and those controlled explosions into The Robot Ate Me screaming handmade aesthetic that turns into catharsis. Not far from the Cave Bears soaring, out of control raw meat, this takes off into 70's edge of the cliff territory while the emphatic vocal is placing this somewhere else entirely with no concern for strict melody and they set their sights on the energy of release.
On Black vinyl, with hand stamped inner labels and xerox inserts, a unique weirdo sound that comes with experience. I like this wildly inaccurate article on the team.