Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Doug Mason on Noyes Records

I don't know what's weirder about this single, that the guy behind the band 'Doug Mason' is named Michael Jackson or that both of these tracks are about Fugazi and Sonic Youth? OR that I just recently learned digging even further that Michael is Trevor from Trailer Park Boys? How does this add up to super 70's indie grunge pop that questions those rock icons? Well maybe it would take just that kind of impossible mix to get to this place.

A-Sides track, "Boogazi" features thick guitars and whistly electronics drilling down on this melody. A solo kicks in right away, all of this instrumentation coming from Doug byt he way. I'm always blown away by someone who can arrange a grungy track like this, the organizational skills I definitely lack. He's got something of a higher register straight man delivery like John Darnielle fronting Tad. Doug is singing about Fugazi, but couldn't reference them directly...was there some danger of being sued? The only time I heard of those guys going after anyone was Nike for that shitty ad. But here Doug's saying they don't like money but they won't play for free? I hope I'm supposed to take this that he's just being a jerk looking for an audience member that doesn't have a sense of humor. Laying into beefy chords with big separation between the strings in a bluesy gutter distortion, radio friendly grunge sound, super clean while being a little bit loose. He's definitely got a lackadaisical delivery, laid back and talky, barely transitioning into melody.
Wait - maybe he's talking about this alternate world where 'Ian' was in Minor Threz? Sort of criticising an alternate band? Or he's being so outlandish to even question Fugazi that it makes the track completely bonkers. Like some dick at the end of a bar looking for a fight? Lots of questions, but if you can't make fun of this hallowed band once in a while then you need to calm down anyways.

B-Side's "Sonic Juice" kicks out the beat and more of those gritty electrics fly in; first left then right, talking about Sonic Youth? Ok I'm on board with this now, it's a ballsy cock rock sound about these iconic untouchable bands. It's a weird subject for a single that's for sure, but definitely funny, we'll see in a few years. Swirly high pitch sine waves and crunchy guitar in perfect places but if you weren't in on the joke listening to the lyric you might just think this is from the latter part of the '90s. Could be the point, like that Pavement track about Stone Temple Pilots. If those guys only knew how lucky they were to even have been referenced. But does Pavement look stupid now? I can see kids asking "who was STP?" "We don't talk about STP, boy". Still it was a jaw dropping moment to hear that rivalry spelled out, even if it was just a joke. This is one of those almost metal sounding riffs, going for windmills and muted chords. More about a band that's emulating Sonic Youth they might as well just be them, albeit a bad version. The way bands can start out imitating other bands which is the story of all music. Music about bands making music, meta and self-referential. Doesn't make any of this less weird.

Get this from Noyes Records.

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