Friday, September 13, 2013

Saskwatch on Northside Records

Who knew that when I started digging for info on this single from Melbourne's Saskwatch there would be a connection to one of the only other Australian bands I'm familiar with, Eddy Current Suppression Ring. The liner notes list Mikey Young who's produced for Eddy and Saskwatch. This nine piece blown out garage soul and funk band fronted by Nkechi Anele sounds to me like a different take on that noisy, loose garage sound taking it all the way back to the '60s going to serious lengths to update that horn heavy Phil Spector girl group sound with Nkechi's single vocal.
A-Side's "I Get Lonely" strums in a tight jangle rockabilly bubblegum pop pausing on every string across the fretboard. It's a jumpy rockabilly groove while Nkechi switches from falsetto to near growl, every verse a test of her extreme range, pleading or leading the way, a real contradiction in sound and lyric direction. They build the verse into a horn blasting chorus so the rest of the band can start earning their keep. Like Nkechi herself the various band members have the ability to go from a stripped down whisper to full orchestral sound. They both challenge the range and style of working in a swing of dynamics like this. If their live show has half the energy of this performance it's going to be nuts. There's an awful lot of talent happening in sync at once and a lot more rehearsal time that demands respect.
B-Side's track, "Your Love (Brain Children Remix) takes these various ensemble elements and breaks them apart from the first measure. Low frequency burps are drowned in bouncy reverb and hypnotic piano strikes. Even Nkechi's vocal is buried in delay and echo, a real feat to move her presence to the middle of this mix. Horn phrases and wet electric lines are looped to change the feel of the original I'm sure, but the real test of someone working in a heavy electronic dub sound like this is to just hold back enough for when this drops into the second verse it's an entirely new entity, fuller, the distortion rising and on the attack.

Pick this up from Australia'sNorthside Records...or check out the digital tracks on their bandcamp page. If you follow Colemine or Electric Cowbell releases you're going to add this to your list.

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