Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Midwest in Black and White

A few thoughts on a couple of singles that were brand spanking new when I began writing this damn post...but by now are most likely sold out.

First, the new Pink Reason single on Trick Knee Productions. I don't know whether he's pulling from a decade-old treasure-filled archive or writing this stuff on the spot, but it doesn't really matter: Kevin DeBroux has a perfect record, something even Bart Starr couldn't manage! What else can I say, the kid is on fire. How he became this year's underground "it boy" is a story better told elsewhere, primarily over at Blastitude, but what it all really boils down to is him following up one of the greatest singles in a while with one of the greatest out-folk/psych records in a long long while. Nothing from '07 stands out more than the epic, ravaged angst contained on Cleaning the Mirror.
By a Thread contains three tracks that rival any of the other gems in his growing discography. I guess you could call this one his most "rock" or traditional statement to date. The title track is a perfect A-side. Spatial, melodic and disorienting, it's another take on post-Joy Division basement blues this time with the help of guitarist Shaun Failure (who accompanied DeBroux on his first major tour of '07 to excellent results). "The Devil Always Wins" is a live favorite usually played at the end of his sets as a spiritual clap-chant, here done a capella. I've always thought this was some sort of old blues cover but after a long internet search I've found it is an original. Very classic. "Down on Me" is another big winner, a post-grunge downer (surprise!) with more excellent work by Failure and an excellent big stupid drum machine holding it all together. The whole single is a stunner. Also, the sleeve of my copy smells funny.

On top of all that talent Mr. Debroux has become quite the taste-maker in these parts, using his weeks on the road to recruit fellow basement dwellers. Sometimes he'll just tell you about the bands, other times bring them on tour for a few dates. By now you've probably been hearing about the youthful death tornado that is TV Ghost and the wreckage they've left in Columbus and surrounding cities this late-Summer. The all-underage (one's, like, fourteen) foursome from Lafayette, IN have a new 7" on die Stasi (out of Findlay, OH of all places) and its another big Midwestern winner. Now that I've seen them a few times I can tell that the single is not perfectly representative of what TV Ghost can bring (and will bring...they've already done a batch of recordings at the Times New Viking studio w/ Matt "Whitey" Horseshit behind the knobs) but both songs are keepers just the same.
"Atomic Rain" is a nice Cramps-ish romp with a great little mush mouthed melody. The recording could be a little better for this style of song but everything is pushed to the max so it shouldn't matter. "Bird Flu" is more in their main artery, an off-kilter rhythm beneath sort-of darkwave keys and spiky guitar, and more mush-mouth.
When you see them live you'll think they've invented this sound, as they play about half their set with the template and it works wonders, at least on the crowds I've seen them seduce. Keep an out for these kids, as they like to tour and they're getting better by the month.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does the sleeve smell like Kevin?