Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Razor Blazers - self released

It’s good to feel like you’re doing something more than just the selfish purchase of another record to put on the shelf. If a band like The Razor Blazers can combine their latest single with a good cause like education for children in Peru then you put another record on the shelf AND give to a part of the world whose concerns are a little bit more directly related to their immediate needs. I’m just saying it doesn’t hurt once in a while to remember how good we’ve got it talking about records all day long.

A-side’s "I'm sick" opens with a thudding kick beat and rim shot, a completely minimal arrangement with slightly distorted vocals from Frederica sounding a lot like Rebecca Gates from the Spinanes. In fact they share a lot of qualities with the Pacific Northwest duo, their heavy use of rhythm, and open spaces. When the chorus hits, it’s a similar expansive, almost shoegaze version of a controlled explosion. It’s a lush, pop sound about some kind of unrequited love of course. They plod away in a Velvet Underground repetition in an effort to hypnotize, reminding me of Nico’s cool detachment. Far off handclaps backing the clicky rim shot in a stripped down, tough arrangement but when they hit that chorus and it's a celebration of that early '80s breezy, shimmering aesthetic if Young Marble Giants scored soundtracks with OMD.

"Linear Rerun" on the B-Side has the guitar and bass working in a more serious, deliberate Interpol sound. Her vocal has switched to a chorus-y echo with this bare rhythm and dynamic on the tenuous edge of noise. Linear Rerun describes the hypnotic state of this Blonde Redhead sound. All of a sudden that façade cracks and a thousand distortions charge in a moment of panic. The stampede peters out with almost brass tones and that slow, melodic rhythm wanders back. The chaos is over so fast, considering they like to extend arrangements like XX ending with Frederica’s endless breathy ‘oh’s’. It’s a little surprising this would end up on the small format with how much they favor winding roads of melody.

A limited pressing of 500 with all proceeds to benefit Kusi Kawsay, an elementary school in the Peruvian Andes which offers children from economically challenged backgrounds an affirming and holistic education.

Get it from their bandcamp page and do something for someone other than yourself. Relax you're still getting a record.

Video describing some of the education project here.

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