Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bad Indians - Sun People EP on Urinal Cake Records

Urinal Cake is back with a single this time from a five piece out of the Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti area, Bad Indians. Trading off vocals and instruments across the four tracks, they work in a loose, throwback '60s garage revival style that's closely related to another band on the label, The Johnny Ill Band and their straight, sincere sounding approach to rock.

A-Side's "Sun People" starts out with a duo of minimal electric melodies and Ian takes on the vocal under a garage reverb delay. It's all raw sounding, the instrumentation deliberately laid back, strumming away just out of sync, the drum rhythm wanders between snare and tom and a jazzy high hat beat. Ian sings about a mythical group and their surroundings, in a kind of naturalistic surf without a wave for miles. A cavernous pop feel, like Radar Eyes with that West Coast lazy Nodzzz vibe, appearing out of the haze with a psych edge, smoothing it out with their own unpolished accessibility.
"If I Had the Chance" brings in Autumn on etherial, breathy vocals over a light organ melody and rhythm that quickly speeds things up for the chorus and continues teetering between these two poppy sides of this sort of yearning. A more measured introspective approach until you just can't take it anymore and get to how you really feel when that doesn't work. It's got all of the charm and craft of that garage pop homage sound the likes of Frankie Rose and the Crystal Stilts. They finally take this all the way down to the slowest possible tempo, to bring it back faster and faster with Autumn finally giving in completely, singing "I need my baby!".
B-Side's "Hate" features Morgan on vocals and this one has a bigger epic psych feel, with a heavy organ line and that caveman tom beat. Morgan's vocals are deeper back in this mix, it's a plodding, surefooted sound with electric distorted wanderings screeching in the distance. A little darker sounding with big harmonies from everyone involved in this blinders-on track, just as loose as the A-Side but steadfast and devoted to the main line. The way that Tim Cohen summons a pop sound right out of the cloudy haze, breaking that horse. "The Other Side" cranks things up with Jules now on vocals, all toms this time with a tight phase all over the guitars, he's more energetic, delivering higher register bursts on The Make-Up updated psych sound. There's still plenty of room in the huge space they create for distorted solos and crashing cymbals to take this out.

It's impressive to hear an entire band not tied to any predetermined place in it, all these influences are closely related and yet you come off with an entirely different slant on any given track. The overall path to the sound is clear, but who exactly is going to execute it is a surprise and you half expect in a couple years they will have disbanded to all form their own side projects because it's almost mean to keep all this talent together for yourself.

Get one of the first hundred of these on clear blue vinyl from Urinal Cake Records.

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