marble stature The Offense we trust! Rural bullshit from the heart of Fox Point, Providence, RI 02906

Thursday, December 21, 2006



THE BEST OF 2006 (Part Two)
So this is how the end of the year is going to go down at the Marble Stature blog: I’ve painstakingly spent the last week digging through my records and CD’s, downloads and tapes in order to cull what I believe to be “The Top 25” of 2006. There’s gonna be some bitchin’ because I’m close friends with a lot of bands, and I feel a little weird listing something that I’ve had my hands in, but I think that the end result is as fair as it gets. Next year it’ll be a little easier as I am stranded out East for keepers (not really, but for the time being). These aren’t in any order because it’s hard to say that one thing that you like a lot is necessarily better than something else that you like a lot, but they will be presented to you as five groups of five albums. Here’s the second group:

Jay Reatard Blood Visions (In the Red, 2006)

With 15 songs in less than a half-hour, two-minute power-pop reigns yet again! Blood Visions is the first solo album from Reatard, the prolific 26 y.o. who spent his teens in the 90’s fronting the much-loved… uh… Reatards. This guy is an interesting songwriter, who is able to effectively translate his love for all things Killed By Death, Hyped2Death, Yellow Pills, Bloodstains and Teenline, and make something sharp and exciting; this is what I wanted The Ponys’ second album to sound like. Every song is intricately crafted and fully realized, the recording is crisp, and it’s all quick enough to never overstay its welcome. I don’t know any other way that I can sell it you; this is a fantastic album.

Raccoo-oo-oon Is Night People (Release the Bats, 2006)

These four guys from Iowa that go by the name Raccoo-oo-oon (silly, ain’t it?) released their first recording, Is Night People, last year but its scarce run was gobbled up quick. Luck for us, Swedish label Release the Bats gave the cassette a proper CD release earlier this year. Is Night People is an organic and inventively recorded album that seems to have conflicted intentions; an album organized by songs, or a freer assemblage of pedal-manipulated experimentation that is organized by passages. I think it is more of the former, but in the best possible way; by keeping a trace of structure to the chirps, wails and moans, parts of the album become identifiable and memorable, effortlessly seducing you into the more interesting experimental nuances which are at work within the album. Great stuff from this prolific band, I have a few other things that they’ve put out this year, but haven’t been able to pull myself away from Is Night People for long enough to give any of their other stuff a fair listen.

Tête de Bébé (S-S, 2006)

For me, this was the clear winner for compilation of the year (but it should be noted that Hyped2Death’s Messthetics Greatest Hits was thrown out of the running because it is comprised of archival recordings). With Tête de Bébé, music critic and S-S label head, Scott Soriano, created the definitive document of the now French Underground, introducing the likes of Cheveu, Dragibus, Le Club de Chats, The Normals, Crack und Ultra Eczema, and Lawrence Wasser, to a hungry domestic audience. Surprisingly, due to the nature of the release, each song used for this compilation is impeccable; exhibiting each group’s most interesting nuances. But perhaps my favorite thing about Tête de Bébé is that it is a fun album; uncompromising, colorful, bouncy, angry, exciting, and yes... intoxicatingly melodic.

Pumice Yeahnahvienna (Soft Abuse, 2006)

I wrote a nice long review of Yeahnahvienna back in October, and so you can read the full review by following the link here, but here’s a little, slightly re-worded, excerpt: "Stefan Neville (Pumice) is perhaps the most exciting thing happening in New Zealand right now (at least of the stuff that has made it over to the States), but as it turns out Pumice is nothing new over there. He’s been performing and making DIY albums (primarily released on cassette) and singles for the past 15 years! Yeahnahvienna, his most recent full-length, is very complex in the way that Neville juxtaposes noise and song into a single performance of choreographed limbs and voice. ‘Noise’ as music is often criticized as not directly relating to the body, and in the past couple of years there has seemed to been a whole movement of bands which try to soften noise so that it more-often-than not exists as an additive creation; a backdrop to freak folk or whatever’s the hot deal. Here, Neville succeeds in marrying noise music to the intimate and personal scale of the body. Limited by contradictory rhythms and gravity, you can directly hear the tension of the body being affected by the physical constants of the universe in every nuance."

Sic Alps Pleasures and Treasures (Animal Disguise, 2006)

Composed of members from Erase Errata, the Hospitals, Big Techno Werewolves, and the Coachwhips, San Francisco’s Sic Alps earn the pedigree of a super-group in my blog. Their sullen “early” recordings (“early,” as in last year) have been collected and released as Pleasures and Treasures, an album that is almost as menacing as it is pretty… kind of like a fusion of Skip Spence, Bobby Beausoleil, and Fushitsusha, if that means anything to you. A tough album to get at, i've been listening to it for a while, and feel as if I have still only scratched the surface.

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of similar interest:
marble stature archives
art for spastics
crud crud
detailed twang
electric pure land
population: doug
static party
terminal boredom
world of wümme
the z gun

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