Elephant by The Vliets
And now for something new (N.B. Indeed). I am the perfect rube (and surely there are more of me) for this type of scam. “This type of scam” = Feedbands.com.
Long and short of it = If you sign up, Feedbands will send you a free specially pressed vinyl LP of their featured artist for the current month. Then Feedbands will continue to send you one LP every month (for which you now have to pay the typical new vinyl sum) of a new artist (in the indie-rock/pop genre) as determined by votes for such artist on their website/app. You can listen to it, and presumably if you don’t like you can send it back.
So of course i signed up for it, and thus far, WD is 0-2 on knowing any of these artists before listening to them on vinyl. I’d say WD is 1-2 on receiving any listenable music from Feedbands. But as I sit here this afternoon. LP no. 3 (which I’ve yet to listen to) by someone called The Vliets (N.B apparently named after Captain Beefheart. I’m not sure how this might have colored my initial listen if I knew or if I could come up with a single captain Beefheart song, because I can’t.) is spinning on my turntable waiting for me to lower the needle and discover.
I will do so shortly, and give you my immediate and un-filtered reactions to these nine songs as I’m hearing them for the first time. And frankly, I’ll be interested to see if this works.
OK, sans ado:
- Chrysanthemum: Post-grunge sad guitar, strong rhythm behind it. Starting to believe this may be an instrumental. If so, it’s a definite contender for a closing credits of my life send up. It’s sad, but the hopeful sad like the end of post-apocalyptic movies.
- God’s Drug: A little peppier. Finally some singing. Drug metaphors, tired drug metaphors. Layne Staley had the market on those. Musically, though, very solid. Nondescript back ground music at the parties you’d throw if you were cooler. It has something in there I can’t quite identify yet. Still, a very certain rhythm section. They’ve got something with this one. The singer’s voice is three-octave higher version of The National/Matt Berninger. The same seriousness with no baritone.
- Elephant: Whoa Beach Boys. Makes you think you’re hearing harmonies. The band that comes to mind is the Smith Westerns, but I’m not sure why. And they definitely quit listening to Oasis before Be Here Now. Not at all a bad song, I’ll listen to it again.
- Women Are Cocaine: (sigh) I’m sure this will sound like Kings of Leon…Same sense of purpose with the kit and the bass, but same guitars that aren’t sure what they want to do. The singer’s voice is fully on post-grunge Brian Wilson now. I think I would loved this album in 1999, but don’t take that as a slight. They have a good sense of song structure, which some might call boring, but I call comforting. Not a song yet I’d FF through, but also not one yet I’d FF to.
- Pale Solar Stream: Funky EDM beat. Phantogram-ish with less purpose. Monotonous so far. OK, here’s a little bit more. This is most closing credits to a movie yet. I had typed out “worst so far” and deleted it. It’s growing on me. Definitely Phantogram, more musical, but the same vibe. I’m in to it. Not at all disappointed in Side A of this LP.
- A Vessel of Cells Without an Ego, Hardly One: Definite nod to the Flaming Lips with this title. EDM-ish beat again. I didn’t predict this album would go this direction. Moving away from Phantogram and into Moby (again not all a slight). It was getting boring but it picked up…in cool 70s jam rock kind of way. The vocals are the worst part of this track. It would be better without them. Indecipherable and detracting from what’s turning into a pretty good groove. I’m bobbing my head to the end of this. It worked well.
- BPS: Ladies and Gentlemen, The Band…with Brian Wilson at the helm. I’m feeling harmonica solo. Nope. Knock-off Stevie Ray Vaughn instead. This song does not fit in this album at all. I can hear this is on KRXO, but again, not in a bad way. It’s devolving into a windows down highway groover.
- Instrumental #1: MGMT? Space groove is what I hear. Something about it reminds me weirdly of Saturday afternoon OETA. Now I can’t get Dr. Who out of my head. What’s the deal with that show? The British. This also is not bad. They could have used a bit more imagination than “Instrumental #1” The first tract was also instrumental. This actually deserves a name, a big Lip-esq handle like No. 6. “Interstellar Pyrrhic Victory Over Forces You Cannot Comprehend. (The Dr. lives to fight another day)” That’s mine.
- Velvet Sea: A more conventional song. Really reminds me of something. I’m strip-mining my memory for what this song reminds me of. I need help. It’s very derivative of something… Ah. It’s killing me. This may be against the rules, but I’m listening to this song again. Right on the tip of my brain. Wait. [sic]”Cinnamon and sugar something a softly broken lines, you never no just how you’ll look in other people’s eyes” that is a complete butcher but those are the lyrics of the song I’m thinking of. (N.B. Pepper by the Butthole Surfers. It took some googling, but I found it.)
OK, it’s over. That was fun. I’ll be doing this again. I’m very happy with this eponymous album by The Vliets. They owe a little to the Lips, great use of EDM, and I love a band with the balls to put an instrumental track on an album. They have two. I’ll definitely listen to it more. Feedbands just redeemed themselves. You, loyal downloader, how incoherent were my stream of consciousness reactions?
How incoherent are they always?