Thursday, February 20, 2014
Sick Thoughts - Need No One on Can't Stand Ya! Records
Personally I love the most blown out sound from back when John Darnielle first started pressing record on cassette players or when Times New Viking turned up the gain on their reel to reels in that attic. The fuzzier and static sounding, the more damaged the format affects the tracks, all the better. This single from Sick Thoughts is right up there with one of the heights of no-fi production, a cover of Sugar Mountain by Space Needle, which is like standing in the middle of a wall of tv's tuned to UHF stations in a hurricane with a barely audible falsetto vocal coming out of one of those old time gramophone cones.
Sick thoughts is the solo project of Drew Owen who from what I hear was 16 when he started recording like last year and he's one of those bad ass young Jay Reatard's who loves the Oblivions and shitty garage rock. Bought some ten dollar mic's and plugged them into a laptop and has been recording ever since. I always think about the work ethic that Jay had, and weather he's aware of it or not, Drew obviously thinks the same and this record is one of the TWELVE releases he put out in 2013. You do the editing. SO that makes this one a little weird being a one sided single seven inch because he isn't short of material...I'm guessing that Can't Stand Ya! couldn't even wait another second to get this to the presses.
A-Side's "She Don't Give" counts off into the biggest pile of sludge, the guitar count is high, Drew is possessed laying down a burst of throaty vocals over layers of hazy distortion. The mix is impossibly pushed to the edges of input so there's barely room for the thud and crashes of the kit. It's also over this fast. "Need No One" attempts a high electric melody that skids into this three chord melody. Drew's down in the bottom of this mix crawling his way out, really losing it. Those stretches of verse are broken up by spastic crumbling fills that break down any attempt at rhythm. Big guitar harmonics that remind me of Jay, the way he'd stack up weird distortion tones and get something else - that mystical umami tone. Feedback opens "You Know I Got It", bashing and screaming to silence and a melody pours in again like black molasses at this volume. Screaming like an absolute maniac. Pushing this whole thing into the upper reaches of what the medium can capture creates that possibility that a live show can be. And good - why should you be precious about this kind of raw punk? I'd rather fill in the blanks sonically. Give me something to sort of hold on to and I'll bring the rest. It doesn't have to be completely spelled out. It's like Deadbolt with it's low end dark energy, that Reatard punk that's been through the psych(ological) shit. Like Mess Folk from a few years back, it taps into the bleak isolation of the suburbs or the struggle of not giving any fucks in the city. (this was actually the title of a note included in this record, a grocery list that was titled 'the fucks I do not give') It should be part of the insert in every record.
Get it from Can't Stand Ya! who did not give a fuck to press the other side - hand stamped center label and xerox insert. THE MOST DAMAGED.
Read more about young Drew over at the Psychedelic Baby blog