Friday, January 15, 2010

Banana Head - In the Tubs (Goaty Tapes CS)

Goaty Heads is a label I've heard much from, but never had a chance to grab on account of low pocket change. Luckily though, Zully was nice enough to get in touch with me and lay a few sounds on me for the review treatment. the cat on the cover got me in this case due to its odd proximity to an equally blank real cat I once had. Plus, what's not to like about a project called Banana Head?

Was a tad surprised to throw this on and find out it was more or less a lo-fi pop record, stripped back and played with a melancholy that's super well suited to this kind of reverberant and insular sound. Cruising through nine tracks across the tape, we're equally met with broken down rock moves, like everything was slowed down till the idiosyncrasies in timing became apparent and then stretched a bit for best effect. If that's the case though, the originals here are about 30 seconds each... the material really moves here. "You're Mine" is as desperate and hostile as the title could be taken, while the opening "Desk Man" situates itself in a dark psychedelia that winces at itself in the mirror, too shy of its blemishes but still hopeful enough that they'll be seen through. "Eat to Death" almost ends the first side on a vacation getaway, but the lyrics are so muffled that it sounds like the party's already left and the house is quiet and dark again. Nice sound.

Flip side has some solo guitar fuzz out for "Gang Toughs," a fucked take on some 90s indie tune. The ever-present vocal wash out leaves the lyrics barely discernible enough that they remain heartfelt, meaning that ole Banana Head's got a grip on texture and sound as mood setting over content. Always stronger that way, no? There's an element of nostalgia too to this stuff, a naivety that's so distant and desired that it's morphed into a sickly sweet parenthetical. It's all lovely, and well worth a trip for those who are into songs teetering on the precipice. Nice first go of the Goaty style too with this package. Super nicely conceived look/sound/the works. Simultaneously cold and warm, dark and light, hop on pop and pop on cop. Play yo-yo to it, or read comics or something. Unless you just want to sit and drift. That works too.

Two in January? More on the near horizon.

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