Saturday, March 7, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 8

You can now pre-order the new Joanna Gruesome album, Peanut Butter, over at Slumberland Records. You can hear the newest singe from the album at Stereogum.

You can also pre-order the new Eternal Summers album over at Pledge Music. The new album is called Gold And Stone and the new single is called Together or Alone.

I am working on figuring out what the difference is between my 7” recorded version of the Call + Response IV track from Restorations verses the digital version. I think it may be a speed of the song playback thing and not missing data. I may have recorded it at 45 rpm or the digital version may be slower than 33 1/3. I am going to take some time today to compare the Bandcamp digital file to the record at both 33 and 45 to see if there is a match or if it is different at both speeds.

Here we go...

This is Perfect Pussy’s first full length album. It was released in March of 2014 in multiple formats. Those formats are Vinyl, Cassette, CD, DL and two similar box sets. The difference in the box sets is in the vinyl colors. One was white vinyl and the other was clear with red haze and some of the lead singer, Meredith Graves, period blood. The box set also contained two cassettes, one of the album and the other of a live set that they did containing four tracks. There was a lyric, credits and photos book, and an enamel logo pin too. There is also a download code included that encompasses both the album and the live tracks. There were 180 copies of the clear/blood vinyl version of the box set and 300 copies of the white vinyl version. The clear/blood version was sold out by the time I got around to getting a copy of the box set so I ended up with the white copy. This is a super short album consisting of eight songs plus the four live tracks. The album itself is only about 22 minutes. The live cassette is a bit more than eight and a half minutes. The longest tracks being on the end of the album at about five minutes and four and a half minutes each. The album is a hard hitting smack in the ear. Not something I want to listen to every day but completely enriching in the new wave of punk.

There was at least one single that was released from this album. That song is called I, or one. It was also released as a 7” and on their first EP called I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling. The track is solid noise but over that noise can be heard a beautiful melody. I can’t tell if it is a synth part or a guitar part though. Either way I like this song. Lead singer Meredith Graves vocals are completely unintelligible but add to the song rhythmically. The song is super short at one minute and forty-one seconds and leaves me wanting more.

I think that Bells was also put out as a single from this album. This track is just hard core punk. There is not much for a melody but there is defiantly a chord progression in the song. The vocals are more up front in your face with this track. It is just a fast ride.

Over the entire album is fun and cheery, if you can hear the lyrics, most of the time not. It is not an album that I want to hear all the time but when I do listen to it I find that I like it more than the last time I listened to it. It is a great album and deserves all the praise that it gets. The live EP is an extra bonus with fun cuts of Meredith speaking between the tracks.

This is an EP or a mini-album depending on if you got the 10” (EP, UK release) or 12” (Mini-Album, US release) record. It was released on CD but only as a promo; also as a download. This collection was released back in July of 2013. The A side of the 12” has four new songs. The B side has three remixed tracks from the A Side. As a bonus there is an additional remix included with the download. The track titles give a hint at Doctor Who but the songs don’t really have anything to do with the show.

The single from the album and the first track on the mini-album is called Dark And Stormy. It is a good track that seems to have elements of slasher films with the high part of the song and the bass is thick and heavy. The guitar lightens the mood until the bridge hits and the guitar becomes distorted and fades out. This seems to be a unique song style for me as I have never heard a song that used the sounds that scary movies have used in a positive way as the group have done here. I like it a lot.

The second new track on the album is called Jelly Babies. Doctor Who likes these and they are referenced in the show frequently. There are also referenced to Prince in this album, specifically the lyric that talks about Computer Blue. This is the name of a song on Prince’s album Purple Rain. The group has mentioned on occasion that Prince has inspired them so, this seems appropriate to reference in the song. Over all the song is interesting with a good drum beat and a cool echo on the vocals. The melody is kind of abstract though and seems like a child put it together. I am not saying that it doesn’t work but that it comes off as haphazard. The saxophone solo on the end doesn’t help either.

The next new track on the album is called Doctor. This continues my Doctor Who reference idea. The song opens with a marimba and gives a warm tropical feel even with the slightly distorted heavy sounding bass line riding underneath the percussion instrument. It is a fun track that does well at keeping the song in the sun even when the marimba is not used in the song. I think that keeping the bass line in a beat that follows a reggae feel. It is a fun song all in all.

The fourth new song on the album is called Flutes. It is kind of a stuttering song that has this super deep bass line that is simple but attractive. The song reminds me of the double dutch songs that girls would sing while playing the game. It is a slower song and uses that double dutch feel on the chorus. The verse part us just normal singing on the track.

I think that the song Flutes gets even better with the following track, a remix of the song called the Sasha Remix. The bass gets bigger and deeper and the drums are accentuated as well. The chorus vocals become so modulated that they are now unintelligible and become musical rhythm only. Later that modulation is taken off but it does sound very cool with it all modulated like it is.

The last three songs that have been remixed are from the previous album, In Our Heads. They are How Do You Do?, Night And Day, and Look At Where We Are. all three are great remixes and I think that Night And Day is the best of these three remixes but I wanted to talk about the new track on this mini album mainly.

This is a fun mini album but not needed unless you are a big fan of the group.

I have mentioned that Surfer Blood have gone back to a more independent label, Joyful Noise Records, so that they could have more control on their music. Their previous label, Sire/Warner Brothers, put to many demands on how they wanted the group to sound. As a result they put out a second version of that album on Kanine Records for record store day last year. I don’t know why they went with Joyful Noise and not back to Kanine. Actually, now that I am thinking about it, it may have something to do with the domestic battery charges that he pleaded guilty to against his year long girlfriend. I do my best to separate the music from the people so; I am excited to hear this new album still. This is a special single though. It is not only a CD but is also a 33 1/3 RPM lathe cut record put out through Joyful Noise Records. It will play not only on your CD player/computer but also on your turntable. It comes with an adapter so it doesn’t float around on the turntable. This is my first lathe cut record. I did play the record part. It doesn’t sound all that great. That is not to say that all lathe cut records sound bad, I think that it sounded bad simply because CD plastic isn’t designed to be used for turntable playback. I do think that it is a genius idea though. They are calling it an analog/digital hybrid. There is even an instructional video to go with it.

The song, Grand Inquisitor, is super fun and short coming in at just over two and a half minutes. The song has that classic Surfer Blood sound signified by John Paul Pitts unique vocal style. The opening synth part is sweet and romantic. The song comes in full and feeling helpful. John offers a space to rest if you need it. He offers hospitality and talks of what you, the person needing the space, smells like but does it is such a way that inspires conversation. It is a wonderful song that seems to be cut short. It leaves me wanting more.

That is all for now...

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