Thursday, September 12, 2013
RSD comp 4 way split with Livids, Xrays, Cheap Freaks & Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb on Big Neck Records
Say whatever you want about Record Store day. I'm not about to complain about how people should shop at your local record store all the time anyway and who needs those annoying special releases screwing everything up for the regulars and the flipping on ebay. It has become something of a crazy mess, but a lot of these things wouldn't be getting repressed etc if it weren't for the attention. I don't even want to remember when I first started this blog almost ten years ago when singles seemed to be on their last legs. It felt like and I was having an impossible time tracking them down even and now I can't keep up with a tiny fraction of what's out there.
All I'm saying is I'm more excited about the present than the past, record store day and all. I'll take it. I might complain, but it is definitely because there's no way in hell I'd be able to show up when the store opens and get that live Pavement record, or those Jay Reatard splits like I did on the first one.
Big Neck Records in the spirit of the event (more records for everyone) pressed up this four way split with a few bands I've covered on these very pages, The Livids, The Cheap Freaks, Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and a new one to me, The Xrays out of Nottingham, UK, their first track in 15 years
The Livids kick off the A-Side with "Stop Bleeding" which blasts out of the gate with heavy fast speed riffs and Eric Davidson's angry snarl. The rest of the band bursts into the chorus and this thing is wound up from the very first chord, slick and super rehearsed they have this in a choke hold. They got it down on the ground right away and now just sit there fucking with the tempo. Like this stripped down part for nothing but the bass to comes in, so they can fake helping him up and then kick it all down again. Ha we got you.
The Xrays track, "Six Pack Style" takes the sound quality into a muffled, mattress filled rehearsal space and I'm loving this sound. So raw and unfinished, they barely can be bothered to find a microphone and torture the guitars here. Something is underwater, off in the distance, bleeding low end tone through the walls, the vocals barely get above this muddy mess, but I trust recordings that aren't trying to hard. They don't care what anyone else sounds like and can get away with this attitude because the song under there is great....better because it isn't all dolled up. The drums pound away but Gman's guitar isn't afraid to really keep it raw, and he won't even stop when the rest of the band is finished. Literally continuing off at the end of the track after the rest of the band has stopped. Like Afflicted Man, it feels like they got one good take of this somewhere between figuring out how to figure out the changes together and getting too drunk to stay in time anymore. That sweet spot when everyone there agrees you actually sound great.
The B-Side starts with Dublin's own Cheap Freaks "Don't Get Much Better Than This" a fizzy thick pile of thin guitars with Robbie growling over like a grizzled hillbilly Tom Waits in a great combination of psych and punk. Robbie is all throat, howling a tough blues while the reverb is somewhere buried under a hundred delays, except for this clear imperfect solo that can't do anything but feel man. That organ might be throwing me off too, here's a '60s psych sound alongside garage speed and attitude. Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb do "CraveCase" which must has to have something to do with White Castle and what's better than an ode to something as completely ridiculous and stupid as a box of hamburgers. I mean these are the things that matter in life when you're just dicking around in the middle of the week with some friends getting stupid. They aren't after anything but reinforcing that good time. Crisp and put together, Sal is sounding frantic and doubled up with distortion here, but talks about other vices like Whiskey and Pizza, a band after my own heart not to mention the apple crunchy chomping sounds between riffs that I hope aren't burgers.
Great sleeve graphic of Lizzie Borden chopping the Big Neck logo with an axe. Four bands, four chances you'll like one. Get it from those guys direct.