Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ugly Husbands - The Faith of the Family (Roll Over Rover CS)

Here's a wild little package I just got from Roll Over Records, an upstart label out of California that already has a nice Sean McCann out (review on the way) along with a few other items of interest. Couldn't resist jumping into this one though, as it comes packaged in a book with the pages cut out and glued together (think the secret storage book for your crack pipe or something...). Mine came in book called "How to Make Good Pictures." Maybe I'm a sucker, but this release is totally done up, complete with a mini booklet featuring some writings by Glenway Westcott, who the release is dedicated to. Don't know his work, but there's some musings on Christianity etc. here.

As for the musical accompaniment, the whole thing is packed with weirdo excursions from Stewart J. Adams that move from synth sprawl seshes to folkier fare that mintains a definite sunrise over the moon vibe. Opening with "Pee-Chee," a gentle ambient synth number, the tide quickly turns with "The Daily Record of C.J. Whitman," whose rockish fervor features McCann on drums. "Mrs. Towers' Dead Trophy" is a more lonesome number, as is "Off-Hand with Alwyn," whose production is nice and blown out as the guitar hums beneath Adams' poppy vocal musings.

But this is no pop record. There are interludes every now and then that are pure synthesized ambiance, no vocals or anything, and on the other more songy numbers the recorded quality of the material alone would be far too much for your average Tiny Mix Tapes reader to digest. And sure, the material is songy, but "Off-Hand with Alwyn" goes on for far too long and explores too many odd dusty nooks for you to not be wearing your face mask. The piece ends with an excursion into tape hiss and feedback crunch that sounds like some transistor radio as intercepted by UFO flight paths. And this is just the beginning of the weird. "Red Hot Hot Doggies" has piano and stunned mental clanking babbling below Jandekian loneliness that incorporates equal parts musique concrete, Shadow Ring, and straight Prick Decay. And "Zipper" has this little carnival theme buried beneath three tons of nuclear residue and various boinging cartoon sounds.

Real odd and compelling stuff that I could muse on forever--hell, I haven't even spoken of side two yet...--but won't because there's just way too much here. Well worth checking out though, the guy's got some tricks up his sleeve, and way cheap considering the decades it must have taken to put all fifty of these together. Maybe that's it... maybe this is actually from some Midwest nowhere town circa 1982... it just might be that good, actually. A label and dude to watch for sure.

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