Monday, October 21, 2013
Sex Dream on Bleeding Gold Records
The solo music project is something I've always admired. It probably started with Pretty Hate Machine. Mr. Reznor made it seem possible that with minimal equipment any jerk could put something together that would describe the hell of high school without the help from anyone. That's not true of course but being isolated in upstate NY, it was a small window into something I didn't ever think was even possible. You don't need a band? I'm sure he inspired thousands to buy a four track and put together albums alone in bedrooms across the land.
As advantageous as it seems, it does come with a lot of drawbacks as soon as you start to know better. It's even more challenging than writing with other people in a lot of respects, you have to be driven or oblivious to keep at it day after day with no input. You also have to have all those other instruments yourself and the confidence to feel like this is best for the song. That being said the singular vision of someone doing really interesting things is a new phenomenon relatively and you can add Benjamin Jameson and his project Sex Dream to the list.
A-Side's "Gods" has a heavy echo count in to crisp electric jangle that slowly builds into the main riff of this track. Add understated bass and a smatter of percussion elements for vocals from Benjamin to slide right up to this tempo. Straightforward and loud, right in the front of this mix, sounding like an alternate later era Sebadoh track with all their clarity, precision and sentimentality. Just when you start preparing for the heartbreak this halts for a heavy dub beat from an old 808 suddenly picks up the rhythm along with deconstructed electric bits. This is a decisive split from traditional indie, it's becoming something else entirely now, the main line is back louder and heavier in a huge solid No Age distortion throbs in. I really like his vocal, it's not really trying to add extra emotion to the delivery, just letting the lyric do all the work, keeping it simple and hardly melodic. When this gets huge again it's a real epic payout but like that vocal it does it with restraint in the way that you all of a sudden learn something huge about your best friend instead of some guy you hardly know telling you his life story at the bar.
"Tundra" employs that 808 again, which is a great sound coming off vinyl and all of a sudden sounds like Menomena. There's a simple bass line off in the background of this and his vocal is deeper even going in a Young Marble Giants style if it weren't for a jagged slice of gated guitar slices right into the somber mood of this. It's a slow almost dance track with slight piano melody mirroring a warm electric that fades into a that hissy fake high hat. Maybe a depressed Magnetic Fields track? I know that could be an oxymoron, but if you caught them in a real early morning moment before coffee, tired as hell - or has it been a long night? He can't ever sleep that early anymore. It's a great combination of nostalgic drum machine sounds which are never going to get old updated like this.
On pale, transparent gold vinyl - the color of bleeding gold? Here's a tiny puddle.
Get this one from Bleeding Gold Records Also found this link from Bleeding Gold to a 10" he just put out as well, three extra inches of Sex. Oh man I'm going to get all kinds of new traffic to this post. Sorry guys this is a music site. Not that the postman believes me.