Wednesday, October 30, 2013
The Ar-Kaics on Speakertree Records
There was a time that seven inches were hardly worth the trouble for labels to even bother coming up with any kind of art for a sleeve. If some music crazed hooligans were going down to their local record store because they just had to have the latest cut from their favorite band ... well they were going to buy it anyways so why even take the time? The artless 45. Just a paper sleeve ma'am. A lot of times it's a good indicator to move on when faced with a thousand 45 boxes...just skip the paper sleeve ones, way before an era I'm interested in today. But wait - The Ar-Kaics, a three piece from Richmond, Virginia, are taking it that far back to release a jukebox style big hole single with just a center label to go on. Keeping things simple with equal parts fuzz and distortion in a way something from that era couldn't have even drempt of.
On A-Side's "She Does Those Things To Me" heavy jangle chords open this track up for a wave of distortion to jam in on the left channel and sit there in it's hazy fog from the other side of the room. Distorted, reverb tinged vocals blasted into the mic against their loose, fuzzy sound that slides ocassionally out of time. The ahh's rising to the ceiling with those lead vocals screaming away in a blues explosion sound that came together in an afternoon gin a stroke of genius not overthinking a meaty riff like this with a powerful reverb filling in the cracks with a solid cavestomp beat. Repeated straight through to the end, that title lyric over and over, a shaker elevating the chorus to an extra epic garage level. Straight through the roof these guys can combine all that blues and garage with the sonic texture of an Edison telephone - nothing better.
"Don't Need Your Love" harkens back to Wounded Lion with their snotty, in-your-face party vocal, The Ar-Kaics guys came to have a good time with their juxtaposition of sunny vocals and who gives a shit attitude. They might not fight you in that punk rock battle of the bands, but they aren't going to get off stage either and just might knock a few things over in the process. Full of deceptively simple chords and berevity this one gets a tinny metallic solo from the left channel again. Reminds me of The Zombies tracks, they were really in love with the huge stereo separation. The Ar-Kaics get in on the faders and come to think of it, ride in that same doo whopper garage style with a lot less sweetness. This could have been in the rotation with the Fresh & Only's debut as well. Pure mellow fuzz sound with a careless punk attitude.
Get this from Speakertree Records, who I also just noticed released a full length from our pal Adam Widener. I bet he fit 35 tracks of PUNKOP on that long player.