Thursday, April 10, 2014
Todays Hits on Randy Records
Darren first told me about Today's Hits a few moths ago and he wasn't exaggerating. I admired Jay Reatard's work ethic when it came to writing and recording songs but James Swanberg from Kentucky has been posting songs every day for at least the last two years on his bandcamp site. It's not the laid back, smoke weed and play video games attitude this sort of heavy fuzz can have. This is taking your craft and Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 rule seriously. You get the best of both on this single, the experience of working through all sorts of material learning from each one previous and Randy's handpicked favs. I haven't seen anything else on vinyl out there and I could see a subscription series based around James himself. But put all of that aside and listen to these handpicked songs by James and Randy on this Sex Boys EP.
A-side's "Why Can't You" hits that opening chord hard with the sustain to spin this record a few hundred times and then dives into watery reverb depths. There's a layer of age and sheen to this, a gentle patina you wouldn't want to clean off with that sincerity and quietness to draw anybody in with this siren song. What they're going to do once they've got you and deliver track after track of these soothing '50s garage tracks is anyone's guess.
On "Number 4" he's counting down the lady friends in his life by the numbers. Sounds like he had problems with the other ones but number four finally makes sense. Just weird enough to work and still somehow be smart with the laid back and goofy. Mostly this mellow shimmery reverb vibe is what makes you want to keep putting this on.
B-Side's "If Ya Wanna" has warm echoey tremolo vibrating all over the disco ball dance floor. I love this slower Shannon and the C's stuff with this kind of gritty direction. This is actually coming off sweet, like Tony Molina and there's a fun freshness to his approach, like early Ty. Complete joyful desperation and abandoning everything that ever came before. Huge slow bellowing bass not even sticking around enough to put notes together in a melody, lumbering along behind the shimmery electric. Vibrating vocals confident enough to take their time in working this out, it doesn't need to be speedy or harsher to get this kind of La Luz feel. Psychey and sleepy. I also keep thinking this cover not accidentally says 'today shits'. Condoms singing on the back. "Why Baby Why" then goes psych with the amount of delay and reverb blasted on this thing, the slow minor chords start out on a single plane but when this thing gets going it's a Jesus and Mary Chain wall of shrill treble coating everything culminating in a great surfy solo that peeks around this haze and murk. Ghost serenading from decades ago, hushed flashback dreams. The bleeding of notes in the chorus because of these pedals and another gain or two attached boosting that silent weird signal with Crystal Slits levels of reverb and coolness. They're the guys leaning on the back of the wall in that slow dance - too cool to even be there but there they are - what are you gonna do about it.
This guy is writing a million songs, this is the tip of another Ty Segal size iceburg, get you paypal fingers ready.
Fantastic as always from Randy Mother Fucking Records it says on the inner label, which I'm assuming is a division of Randy Records.