Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Herizon / Virgineola split on Harding Street Assembly Lab Records

The sleeve on this one is setting the tone in the right direction, like something from Not Not Fun...crazy tripped out collage...cross legged hippy toking up, while god holds his head up... the rainbow fence is just getting started. The the back really brings you down man, black and white hard edged mechanics, cars, the crap of daily life rearing it's ugly boring head.

Nathan from the Labs is involved in both sides on this very first single from the label split between a band he produced 'Herizon' (which I just realized is spelled wrong) and another project he plays in, along with Joanna, and others called Virgineola on the B-Side. All of this 7" nepotism is just adding to my picturesque lens of Virginia, everyone is getting together to play music on the front porch and pressing records.

The A-Side from Herizon is a slow tempo, slow picked close mic'd piece complete with acoustic strings vibrating against the fretboard, the moments that mean this is a happy accident...accident is even the wrong word. The way this came out is the way it's meant to be. Guy/girl vocals barely sung, almost whispered on top of each other remind me of that Wai Notes Will Oldham album, all sorts of nice bird samples all over it. A giant rumbling sound at the end breaks the quiet moment, like the close up of a campfire...or a microphone being set on fire.
The second track 'All Gone', speeds things up just slightly and goes more instrumental with picked acoustic guitar and tin can vocals. The electronic cicada sounds are a nice touch, again it's working with my utopian Virginia's all filed sort of country, in the way Will Oldham could be...reflective, working with time honored instrumentation, classic, but contemporary.

The B-Side from Virgineola starts with the first track 'Lorraine', which is all about the human voice...and proving you don't need anything else sometimes, challenging the usual arrangements of harmonies. It's like Laurie Anderson, there's no church influence, the clear vocals are separate on top of each other, struggling between melody and storytelling, and trying every variation of unusual vocal variations as song structure...who thought to attempt this? It's a noble effort.
The second one 'Boyd's Ferry' has a vocalist delivering lines from a CB radio out in a boat, making his rounds, it's not an emergency...more like a report on sea conditions while an acoustic melody and quiet electronics build on top of each other in disparate couldn't be planned to work, there's no obvious the collage on the front sleeve, it's a little nostalgic, subversive and just weird. Take a chance and pile it on.

All on mixed olive green swirl vinyl from Harding Street Assembly Lab...for a pittance. The lab will stop all experiments immediately to email you back at hardingstreet(at)

Having been friends for nearly a decade (they played together in a rowdy, dark country band at the beginning of the decade), Tim Condon (Herizon) & Nathan McGlothlin (Virgineola) have brought their respective projects together for our 1st release! Herizon’s A side features Condon’s first available songs. “Home Again” & “All Gone” are haunting, somber pieces that travel to the mind’s darker recesses. The B side showcases a never before heard instrument for Virgineola. “Lorraine” is nearly a cappella, with a toy accordion providing the only accompaniment. The split ends with a previously recorded version of “Boyd’s Ferry” which has been a staple of the group’s live set all year.

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