Monday, June 22, 2009
Bipolar Bear / Talbot Tagora - Abstract Distractions (olFactory Records 10")
Finally getting around to this split after way too many months on the shelf. This here is a split 10" believe it or not, a format which always makes me think of a bygone era, 78s etc. Jimmy Lunceford doing "Blue Moon" or whatever. Not that any of this is really pertinent whatsoever, especially with regard to this outing. Given that I hadn't heard either of these bands before, it was nice to be pleasantly surprised by both bands here, which is to say that neither of them plays "Blue Moon."
Bipolar Bear is a trio out of LA (both bands are in fact), and they go with a pretty raw angular post-punk sound here as they roll rather quickly through five tracks. It's all good here too, with a nice overall sound that's heavy on the fuzz and loose on the atmosphere. Definitely an anthemic quality here, as the opener "Cape Verde" and especially "Library," with its extended guitar splay out and catchy chant. "March of Mudmen" could almost be an early Fall single, with a frenzied and buried sound that grooves without managing to peel its face off the sidewalk. Something quintessentially LA here for sure, especially with the echoed vocals--almost makes me think of Jane's Addiction or something in a weird and not very applicable way. Nice tunes, and plenty of energy to be sure. Nice that the production is kept low too, making it all mesh together into a soupy, concrete walled club thing, sweat included. Not too much that's showy here either, as the group is too busy moving forward to be bothered with pyrotechnics. That said, this is an extremely tight unit fully capable of shredding it all up.
As for Talbot Tagora, this is another trio effort and, while the sound here is less charred up, the energy is equally fertile. Definitely can see why these bands run in the same circle, as each have a penchant for unleashing it, with Talbot especially sounding like a bigger unit than it is. A bit less sloppy and more angular as well, with "Internet Fixture" opening to jostling, herky-jerky guitar work and pummeling drums courtesy of Ani. Great sound, and it only gets better too as "We Live in Sack" is a real demented rising line theme whose shrouded lyrical content is so far immersed that it sounds more like the guitar remnants reverberating off the ceiling. "Black Diamond" channels the pummel of no wave but filters it through some LA epicness via sing-along lines before "The Weather Man" closes it out with the most straight ahead punky number here. Super good split for fans of sloppy art punk stuff, these are two bands well worth keeping an eye on. Great twin bill too, they fit together like two peas in a, um, mod.