Thursday, October 3, 2013

Quailbones on Ghost Orchard Records

It can take as little as thirty seconds into a single to be completely on board with just about anywhere the band wants to go. When a five piece out of Murray, Kentucky called Quailbones wastes no time plowing through loud, jangly, layered pop with elements of psych and sloppy surf rock it doesn't take long to want to hear this again. There's just about nothing not to like on this one and they nail the three of these songs just about better than anything I've heard lately.

"We're Good Men" - Wow. This separation of crunchy insanity after a panic'd count, buried distorted vocals like Les Savy Fav combined with a jitter, heavy Yuck feel. Lots of speed on this one, the pieces heavily isolated and crystal clear in case you think this was going into no-fi country. The scrape of a guitar string is an essential element in these layers and the yelling vocal is the farthest one away. A perfect mix of heavy crisp percussion, jumpy rhythm with lots of repeating guitar structures, it's indescribable when you hear something as great as this with no warning and this much energy and attention to detail. When a band can sound this big on a lowly single they've got loads of greatness ahead of them yet. That's a lot of expectation though, lets see how the next track, "Nervous Elect" goes. Another frantic tempo with a bit more of that hazy psych here that wasn't so present in the last track. A Super Vacations or Ketamines sound, the piled on fog coming together with tons of reverb and a Useless Eaters spring delay buried in here. The vocals bounce around, keeping you away from the content but the perfect kind of buried sound alongside this quick tempo. A little bit indie and jangly amidst their technical prowess, they love separating the hell out of this mix, chop it up across channels. Minds will be blown if you stick your head between the speakers. Can MP3's do that? Sort of garage, but ultra indie pop with some heavy Moon Duo or Wooden Shjips spaced out sound - walking that line between the best of these worlds. Four thumbs up. 9.675. 4 3/4 stars.
B-Side's "The Long Hair of Death" have the drums kick this off to a kind of Wavves heavy vocal harmony wooo's and static distortion with a loose off their meds sound like The Soft Pack. The drums have their own special clarity while the vocals disappear into a void, the high hat sizzles and the wettest reverb eats its own tail of half life pings. The way Quailbones balance these fast indie sounds with ultra psych is fantastic. The guitars are literally on different paths from the left to the right, in completely different melodies and it works, the static bleeding into each other's sweet spot. It's one of these weirdly optimistic songs with Deadbolt horror delay, where they have the best time. The delicate touch from Jordan on drums makes this way better than it should have been. The tape warbles out on the end of this and they were recording on a reel to reel? Is there anything they can possibly do better? Is there anywhere to go but down?

Get this from Ghost Orchard Records. They sent this one in for review but now that I've had my taste I gotta pick up the Crane Wilbur single over there as well. Hooked on the good stuff.

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