Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Wormburner on Negative Fun Records
There are those bands that you can tell from the beginning are in it for the long haul. Seven years since their debut album, A Hero's Welcome, Wormburner has longevity written into every effort. They're a band you can feel comfortable supporting, they've proven that they aren't going to just disappear, it's not just that this band thing was fun for a summer touring with friends.
There is a work ethic instilled into their indie rock that you get from Yo La Tengo, American Music Cllub, Nude Beach or Wilco. It's not a job so much as they just take rock and roll very seriously, it's a passion and a way of life.
"Today Might Be Our Day" opens on crisp, subtle, precise guitar, sounding immediately like Guided by Voices or the sincere pop or Sebadoh, piled up into enthusiastic pop indie rock. Great vocals about staying on his brothers couch, in a a John Darnielle talking pop feel with the same aesthetic, walking that line between funny and a little bit sad. It's a real thick pop sound giving in to this energy, reaching massive highs getting epic without feeling overproduced, somehow keeping those local ideals intact. The comfortable dive bar that you spend a lifetime in. Mostly this production has the skill and craft of a group very serious about indie power pop. The drum pattern that comes in over a post muted jagged jangle is fantastic - uncannily Mountain Goats if they had a little bit more humor, you get the sense they can get bigger. They have that a macro view of the past and a narrator who's summing up a failed past. Sitting around and reminiscing from prison? Sort of a criminal bullshitting from the corner of his cell with a weird optimism, or maybe it was that penchant for bullshit that got him in there in the first place. Poetic non sequiturs that are so universal but specific, my favorite. It's packed instrumentation wise and uses each piece to its full potential jamming together a gleaming piece of super pop. A Flaming Lips kind of indie that makes things seem like they're going to be alright for once. The title came natural. Either that or he's lying to himself again like an eternal criminal optimist.
An acoustic fading in on B-Side's "Parliaments on Sundays" gets Steve Henry right into this drinking bar song, a shiny pop balanced by his lyric about gloomy give up days where it's easier to drink and smoke the day away. What else are you gong to do. I like this prescription about balancing smoking with "Parliaments on Sundays' because you have to take it easy sometimes. This is a sort of punchy alt country a lot like early REM which seems to have a lot of breathing room in the tracks exactly like this. They manage a depressing high energy track about smoking cigarettes crafted as hell. Steve can sound like a higher, optimistic Bob Mould with the layers of compressed vocals. One of those gifted storytellers that reminds me that's what songs were always for. To put a melody and pass on experience. Someone has to be at that bar if I can't.
Pick this up on Negative Fun Records.