Monday, May 19, 2014

Travel Check on Howlin Banana Records

I always like to hear that bands from the rest of the world are into the scuzzy garage sound also. You don't want to think that the bands you know about are the only ones doing it. That crazy blown out reverb surf isn't a product of a particular neighborhood in America - it's universal. Howlin Banana Records have just shown up on my radar thanks to this single from a Travel Check, a four piece out of France buzzing away the likes of Los Dos Hermanos">Los Dos Hermanos, which is also not a coincidence.

"66$" opens with a jangle heavy treble and bouncing organ. Thibaut has a whiny punk vocal blasted behind reverb with a big chorus that becomes a band sing along with tambourine always in the background of a solid garage rhythm. The jangle is relentless on this one, and these guys have that unhinged, rambunctious quality of the first Violent Femmes record if that makes any sense. A smooth solo sails through while his distorted vocal crosses speaker channels remaining joyful and endlessly happy sounding. The slappy snare and picked electric on "Druggy Daddy" are in the same room underneath the mic, like mistletoe they have an excuse. Layer in a chorus heavy chant vocal and heap on more of that garage jam pop sound. Too bouncy of a bass line, this couldn't be beckoning you more out to that faux dance floor. I never get tired of that reverb twang electric, it's single notes boinging through this empty room. The tambourine stronger than that snere, this is the essence of that neo garage stuff, that passed through the Vivian Girls; when I saw Frankie Rose stick the tambourine on her tom the whole show. Not with a stand or anything just set it on the head of the tom.

"La Gravière" comes on with a strong deep fuzzy effect, heavily gated and jagged bending around this crunch. I think the chorus is 'SURFIN going SURFIN SURFIN'. It's alltogether too much fun, the crusty angles and sand in your eye it's all there. These guys have shorts on and you've been in the sun too long there's crabs dangling from your amp cables. The Super scuzz overpowers the jangle that's still here with a back and forth kick and snare that compels you to shake. "Feels alright" ends on a mellow note. This is a sort of tropical pop punk but the day is winding down. You need that afternoon nap, with the glass slide up and down the frets. It hits the chorus and shakes things up with my sunglasses on my saggy eyes. These guys like to play with dynamics, they don't stick to a level garage, and aren't content sort of getting the overdriven signal right. I could easily see this on a west coast label. Its funny that it takes this much work to record and press for this laid back layered scuzz to finally hit your ears. Double time the last few versus I don't know where they get the energy, they can't help themselves and destroy this on the way out the door.

From Howlin' Banana Records

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