Friday, July 19, 2013

The Marble Vanity on Slow Fizz Records

Not to be confused with Fuzz City, (maybe that's just me?) Slow Fizz Records out of Chicago released this single from The Marble Vanity sometime in the beginning of last year. The label site appears to have been hacked by an online gambling presence or it’s part of their elaborate ruse to make this difficult to track down as Bill and Lisa eluded to in this interview at Philthy Mag. You might recognize those names as members of Cococoma and tastemakers at Trouble in Mind Records. Along with Andrew Anderson from The Hipshakes (who happened to be staying with Bill and Lisa at the time) and Emma Hospelhorn from the Hollows they put together The Marble Vanity’s tracks with garageband in a small home office, not that it even seems possible with the impressive production on this clear vinyl. Influenced by the very fringes of psych pop bands that were part of the second wave of bubblegum freakout, names I’ve never heard mentioned before like the The Index, The Yellow Balloon or The Bachs, they’ve managed to emulate that second generation of glam psych in an effort to further evolve paisley pop way past its domesticated roots.

"You Can't Step on a Rainbow" opens with an elaborate harpsichord twinkle and a rolling tom fill. The handclaps take over a shiny rhythm bopping along and I don't remember Bill ever sounding as smooth on Cococoma as with this layered doubled harmony. Definitely not ever getting as high as the epic transcendent moment towards the end of the second chorus when an entire horn arrangement blows in. The lyrics are killer, perfectly nailing that hazy goof style You can’t step on my heart / Like you can’t step on a rainbow . Delivered completely sincere and raising the stakes on the laid back psych era in starting to throw catchy pop punches. It's rolling with attitude and when he sings Girl you can’t put me under your spell / You / You know I was born to raise hell in his marshmellowy delivery it’s almost flipping this overblown orchestral production into a parody of itself in the best way.

B-Side’s, “My Love Has Gone” is a cover of another artist I’ll be checking out shortly, Del Shannon. Written by Ross Watson, the track here has Bill’s take on Del’s ultra falsetto, which always seemed so crazy to me that was ever a thing in ‘50s pop. They follow the dense orchestration of the original with all sorts of baroque elements, layers of xylophone and flute. The way Bill just misses the heights of Del's vocal is endearing, and another tip that as much as it’s a sincere homage it's also playing around with those ideas. If they’re having fun with the vocals, the rest of this production is dead serious in piling on the ornate decoration. From tambourine/snare hits and muffled toy piano The Marble Vanity is capable of just about anything, and it’s a powerful tribute to Del.

Get it at the moment from Goner or Permanent Records along with their self titled full length they managed to ‘throw’ together while hanging out in the front office, between packing up T.I.M. orders…and touring…and having a baby.

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