Tuesday, January 30, 2007

They Don't Have Burritos in the UK?

The Rebel
Bums on a Rock 7" EP
Flitwick Records, 2006

Back in late November, good ol' Roland over at the Siltblog tipped his loyal readers to a certain UK label giving away supposedly free records of all varieties. It was called Flitwick Records and the reason they're free is that they couldn't find distro and they figured we'd download them anyway so why not take all the fun out of that and give them away. Anyhow, his review was nice and they had already done a Fall release and there was some sort of Country Teaser connection so I thought I'd try and sign up for the freerec program, not expecting anything to come all the way across the pond just for me. For free?
A month passes by and I get a package with some strange looking postage on it and - holy shit - they actually sent me a free 7''. It was the nicest thing any stranger in this record business had ever done for me. I had heard of lots of record giveaways over the years but never believed that these labels or bands actually came through with it. Doesn't take much to please me, I know...the record didn't even have to be good, it was free!
But you know what? The record they sent me is really fantastic. It's called Bums on a Rock, by the Rebel, the solo project of Teasers leader B.R. Wallers. The sound on this one is pretty far from the scummy, nihilistic Fall-worship of the Teasers discog (he's self-released dozens of cassettes and cdrs under the Rebel moniker, so the sound has got to be developed). In fact, A-side "Bums on a Rock" is almost cheerful, like your junkie uncle shooting up and proceeding to tell stories of a made-up past. The song is just consumed by this stuttering drum loop, which, combined with some liquid guitar warbles, reminds me a lot of the early Beta Band stuff, strangely. His vocals have a really dreamy, druggy vibe, the sort of half-sung banter Wallers has perfected, but here they are more playful, and damn catchy, as he utters the title over and over, along with tales of burritos and gin. I challenge you to listen a few times and consequently remove it from your head, because I have not been as successful.
The remainder of the EP is less immediate but charming just the same. Side-B's "Black Policeman" is mostly a Teaser throwaway, and "Brite Yn's Cnut" is a fairly entertaining bedroom industrial instrumental. You get the sense that the Rebel is Wallers' experimental outlet (surprise!), a place where he can throw anything besides his main band's garage-punk against the wall to see what will stick, only to grab what falls to the ground and piece it back together. I'm intrigued.
As for Flitwick, I've discovered it is run by long-time Teaser friend and current drummer, the Champagne, whose myspace features a cover of Times New Viking's "Devo and Wine". And though it seems the free records will not continue to flow at the pace they have in recent years, it's always worth a try over at the Flitwick site. And a note to Mr. Champagne: these records are worth buying. Cheers.


seanzilla said...

i think we are linked... by MIND!

Anonymous said...

Great blog. Was trying to track this 7" down and saw it on ebay for £113! ($180) - you are lucky to have signed up while Flitwick were still producing the records! Any chance you could mp3 the b-side for me please? (I have the A-side from "Titrack Luxury", unless it's a different version???)

buy viagra said...

hahaha, it is not only hard, but contradictory and ironic to see a label giving records aways to the the people for free. Ha ha, that makes me laugh so much, dude. LOL that's a check mate against the labels!