Thursday, June 4, 2009
Ugly Husbands / Old Softy - Salmonchanted Evening (Roll Over Rover CS)
Alright! I finally have a minute to hunker down and right some reviews for the blog rather than Foxy or elsewhere, and given the backlog of stuff that's accumulated I'm psyched to be back at it. Figured I'd start with this number, which Sean McCann sent me a ways back from the new batch of his own Roll Over Rover imprint. Truth is I've been listening to all of these on repeat for a couple weeks now, but, as this may just be the best of the bunch which, I might add, is really saying something.
Opening side belongs to Ugly Husbands, better known as co-Roll Over Rover head Stewart Adams, whose Faith of the Family debut was quite the intro some time ago. Total change of pace here though, as we enter from the get-go into some spaced out vocal and guitar riff dronery on "Daisy," which reads a bit like some more placid and parred down Skullflower sound, edges rounded off and everything. Tough to decipher much but the effect is wonderful and the cassette fidelity really adds to the mix, keeping everything raw without losing its warmth. "March of the Army of the Potomac" gets into some super weird toy detunings and warbling tape stuff that retains the weird factor without rehashing the same ideas. Nice acoustic guitar meanderings here as well including some lazy back porch banjo picking from McCann. Like Fahey playing to Dolphins into the Future or something? "The Living Sea" also keeps tings drifting, with nice vocal and guitar meshing that's hazy as hell. Extremely blissed and psychedelic stuff without being overtly druggie in any way, which I suppose is a nice change of pace. More like some weird loner basement psych disc where the vocals are just out of reach enough for them to become truly effective, y'know? Same goes for the closer, "Cake for Mr. Hudson Pt. I & II," which takes a good part of the side and really is more of a gigantic sound crevice than anything, with dark vocals and burned bass blowout taking off toward parts unknown. Nice.
Old Softy's side is entirely untitled, but also represents a new angle for Dave McPeters, whose Wrestling was a fine little tape indeed. Also opening with a drone side of vocal and guitar, McPeters' take on the opener is far gentler, a strange mix of whispered rainfall that goes far beyond the sum of its parts. I still think a lot of the strength here is in these dudes' willingness to record to tape, which really leaves all the cliches too far buried for them to be applicable. Instead everything oozes together, making for some truly zoned out and genuinely beautiful material. McPeters works out from it too, easing it down to settle in the tides before restarting with a bass billow and some hollow, voluminous realms. Real creepy stuff that reads a bit like if MV/EE slowed down and spaced out even more. Just serendipitous little meetings of ultra sluggish song structures. Really effective again.
And really the same goes throughout here. Each piece in the hour presented depicts a variation on these guys potential, serving as fine opportunity to slip into their unique sound. These three dudes (McPeters, Adams and McCann) all seem to be working in close cahoots, and the results are nothing short of radness. Only 100 of these put out, and as far as I can tell they're the only ones in the batch not yet sold out which blows my mind. Each one has a handmade collage for a cover, so they're all different and as near as I can tell super great. Posted the set of four depicted above cause it's got mine ("moo moo") on it. Totally stellar split outing, unified sound and enough versatility to keep things moving.