Thursday, February 12, 2015
Mope City "Halfway House EP" on Tenth Court Records
I loved the Thigh Master single from Tenth Court Records last year. So much that it was my number one record of the entire year for 2014. I guess it's no surprise their latest release from Mope City, a Sydney three piece would be hitting another perfect tone of '90s Slumberland & K Recs, depressive pop. Get it? Mope City. (Weirdly their drummer is also in Beef Jerk.)
A-Side's "Small Eye" opens into a shimmery chorus sounding guitar, the drums shuffling along with a slight lead on the chords, just about to trip over his heels in a slow but eager kind of way. Laid back strums piling up to the end of each verse with a snare roll and muffled cymbal crash. Perfect vocals from Amaya in a dreamy sounding echo reminding me of Rebecca in the Spinannes, keeping the hazy spell, trading off the chorus to Matt who buries himself just barely a melody. Plinking in a couple of piano keys just before the verse they could be flirting with a Rex kind of shoecore or The Swirlies twee. The guy girl vocals like this always being inherently great they even start to push things into a slightly epic sound by the end singing together and stepping on the distortion pedals. Like that diorama on the cover, a contemporary take on Van Gogh's bedroom, it's tiny and sad and awesome.
B-Side's first track, "Halfway House (Bleeding at the Station)" leads with a more thin sounding metallic guitar jangle and I'm guessing Matt again on vocals, still finding his way to the bottom of this mix with his delivery and register. They make sure not to get typecast in SLOW melancholy pop and this is driven by those taught snare/rim shot rhythms and jittery guitar work that even spends a minute in a psych haze of phased solo like J. Mascis covering Galaxie 500. It's these unexpected turns this takes between verses that makes you look forward to revisiting the whole single. They're saying 'We don't have to be fucking happy we just don't make dumb music.' "Blunt Razor" then winds up in the bending drone sound of strings being let out of tune, the vibrations rattling right into the pickups and the player bending down lower touching the ground. Matt isn't even attempting to follow the natural melody of the track instead picking an a deliberately crocked path of a vocal that doesn't ever get emotional, that blade already drained the energy out of the indie from the first side. It threatens to topple over in feedback and distortion with each huge bash getting closer to never waking up.
I'll be checking on these guys as they have a full length in the works (mess & noise). An early contender for 2015.
In the US at Easter Bilby or go to the source, Tenth Court Records.