Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Susan on Volar Records

I don't know if there's such a thing as 'the sound of summer' or if densely layered pop can evoke that season but I'm willing to try anything at this point. The sweaty pop from the LA based trio of Susan is a pretty good start to at least start thinking about some warmer weather with teeth. It could be that laid back feel to a huge set of layers that reminds you of being too hot to move, the humidity settling in like an invisible cloud...but once you start paying attention to the lyric, you'd better not get too comfortable.

A-Side's "Just Call it" bounds in with a layered blast of vocals and fuzzy chords in a polished post Vivian Girls dense shoegaze sound of jangle and harmony. Something of a combination of Grass Widow and Frankie Rose or the off balance rhythms of Crystal Stilts, heading right for big harmonies and playing with the back and forth of channels answering each others vocal in a snarly Go Go's sound. Belinda Carlisle played drums for the Germs, believe it or not. It's a real crazy mix of throwing vocals around in all directions, stepping on each other, the airy mix packed with takes and takes of voices. This track is about the existential dilemma still around today, to call or not to call, especially since you're going to get that person on the other end of the phone. Well maybe that's easier these days, don't get me started about having to talk to a girls parents. They break for 'oooo's' and that three chord jangle spreads out for a bit, rounding the whole thing out nailing a weird half step rhythm finish.
B-Side's "Frenchie" slams in cut up blocks of chords, their jabbing of post punk sliding into a weirder chorus, making a little bit of fun of an angst ridden dude. This sugary pop is taunting and switches from a rigid chant to a laid back groove with that push and pull, sending mixed messages to the annoying poser. Screeching feedback squeals right into a delayed solo that pretty much destroys everything. "Pancake" rides on with heavy three chord rushes and the eerie harmony from these three in overdrive. You might have been impressed with their three part harmony before but here it's a real solid dense impenetrable fog of sugar. Forcing an unmelodic rhythm that works only because they will it into repetition with a chorus inspired by the classic '60s girl group sound ending with a pillowy "...I hope you die alone."

Pick this up from Volar Records, green or black vinyl.

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