HEY! Get updates to this and the CD and 7" blogs via Twitter: @VinylUnderbite

21 October 2010

Car Commercials - 'Eric's Diary' (Soft Abuse)

Clearly this is some sort of companion piece to Judy's Dust, as it has a similar title, the same style of paste-on covers and the same inversion of teenage nostalgia/futurism. The sounds inside, though, take such an alien, unsettled gambit that it's almost impossible to reach inside this bauble. The few vocal hooks that peer out of Judy's Dust feel like Top 40 compared to Eric's very strange Diary. It's a bit hard to tell what's what, since there seems to be an extra song on each side, but there's much more of a keyboard presence here, though played somewhat ironically on the (aptly titled) 'Teenage Pact' -- the Casio sounds are pushed to the forefront over manic drummin' and strummin', and it serves to isolate Car Commercials' apparent disinterest in their own music. There's less warbly walkman shit here, but the fidelity isn't any better - this is almost like the outtakes of Judy's Dust. 'Bad Plans in Action' and 'In A Hallway' use maddening guitar figures - any sort of riff has disintegrated, leaving only the excess gestures. Vocals, as well, are far more in the stream-of-consciousness/yelping style, though the lyrics are clear enough if you want to suss out whatever these guys are on about. The snare drum and feedback squeals are the punctuation of this otherwise unending miasma. It's a strange and challenging trip, for sure; and though it has the same sonic elements as the 7" and first LP, yet somehow it feels stark and bare. There's a part just before 'Oh My God, it's happening' where my record skipped and it made a rather infectious rhythm loop, but the rules of this game dictate that I had to bump the stylus along. And what came next? More feedback, muttered words and cold clattering. The closing tracks on each side are the most extreme of any Car Commercials vision to date. 'Everything Hurts Me' is long and tough-going -- it's attenuated towards painful yelping and frustrated outbursts, and it starts to take on a hall of mirrors quality. The end of side 2 ('Blew It') which may actually be two tracks (it's hard to tell) is the opposite - sparse, bare, and the most Shadow Ring-style they've ever done --- except minus all the attitude, just bathed in awkwardness. in the middle is a huge piece of silence, and then a fragmentary church-organ coda (maybe this is the bonus track? ). The typewritten track listing has what's clearly intentional typos, certainly a metaphor for the music, so maybe this is Pussy Galore refracted through 15 subsequent years of avant-damage. This is the type of record that I could become easily obsessed over, as it makes me want to keep exploring it's unlit corridors, even though I know there's no fun there.

No comments:

Post a Comment