Monday, February 9, 2009

A Ripple Record Round Up - 7 Inches of Fun

Being totally in love still with my new mp3 turntable (ION TTUSB05XL) I couldn't resist the opportunity to dig back through some of the piles that seem to take up every square inch of floor space here at the Ripple Office, and pull out some of the 7 inch singles that have made their way into our office and give them a spin. What I found was a previously unheard treasure of mini-vinyl nirvana.

Eulogies - "If I Knew You" b/w Sea Wolf - "You're a Wolf"

Coming from Dangerbird Records this nifty little split single has been with us far too long without a listen. And that's just a damn shame. What we got here are two beautifully performed and exquisitely produced, shimmering, glistening slices of indy pop. Eulogies fit comfortably beside bands like The Uglysuit and Shuteye Unison, crafting dramatic, alternating with ethereal, deeply emotive pop music. "If I Knew You," starts off with the glisten of a delicate guitar, working it's way through the evocative melody, building to the full charge of the chorus. Huge looping bass runs anchor this beautiful song. Touches of drone rock, ambient brush strokes. Not one to be missed.

Then, not to be outdone, Sea Wolf takes over the second side, unleashing a moody, instantly engaging song. A near one man band project, this one needs to be heard. Deep bass rumbles out first, lending an Echo and the Bunnymen vibe, before the acoustic guitar layers on. Beautiful vocals, singing a can't miss melody, this song simply shimmers like dew evaporating as the sun rises on a winter morning. I was totally surprised by this one, caught off guard and deeply affected. A simply beautiful track.

Both songs left me dreamy and satisfied. If this is the music coming from Dangerbird, consider me easy prey.

www.dangerbirdrecords.com
www.myspace.com/eulogiesmusic
www.myspace.com/seawolf


Dr. Dog - The Girl (Beck remix) b/w Heart it Races

Coming from Park the Van Records and plowing at you with a massively distorted, funky, psychedelic vibe, Beck runs this Dr. Dog track through the blender, adding in a furiously unrelenting drum beat, percussive rumblings and layers of fuzzed out guitars. Wailing vocals add to the flavor of this indy dance floor filler. Just try and stay seated while this baby is playing, we dare you. Flipside, "Heart it Races," comes on like a lost, psychedelic Beatles cut, chiming organ topping over a steady, funky beat, leading all to the beautiful chorus. Slightly off the wall indy pop. Fun, upbeat, and irrepressibly jaunty. Put this on the next time it's raining and see if the day doesn't seem just a little bit happier.

www.myspace.com/drdog


The Killers - Tranquilize (with Lou Reed) b/w Shadowplay

In all honesty, I'm not a huge Killers fan. Their first album was just fine, reveling in the deep '80's doom vibe, but Sam's Town kinda lost me. It's no surprise then that this single sat around a while before I felt motivated to bring it out. But again, my mistake. The whiny tones that bothered me so much in Sam's Town are absent here, and what we have is an incredibly ambitions, slightly meandering, definitely engrossing tune. Starting off with a massively heavy bass line of the grand style that made the first album so engaging. Lou Reed adds his deep vocals beautifully here, laying it on thick as the song builds up momentum, a string section and layers of sound adding all the way to the chorus. Nicely done. I think I could do without the kids vocals that follow the chorus, but that's just my preference. Drivng down a road very different from their mainstream material, this is a grand epic of a song, one certain to polarize the fans; some finding ambition, others finding boredom. Personally, I'm with the first group, hoping its a sign of where the boys go next. Play it six or seven times and I think you'll agree, its a grower.

Back side, "Shadowplay," follows a more traditional Killers path, remaking a Joy Division song with a swooping bass leading the band through a lost Joy Division-era cut. Nicely muted guitars, a non-stop beat, it's everything that people love about the Killers. Darkly funky, earthy in it's ambivalence. It's a cover of another band's song, but nicely done.


Kasabian - Empire

Since we're having so much fun here, I thought I'd throw in one big ten-incher just to increase your pleasure. This promo single, like too many others, had taken up near permanent place against the wall of the Ripple office while I was sans turntable. Now, it gets it's chance to shine. First off, I love the 10" format. Agree with me or disagree, there's just something more fun about it, more substantial, more anticipatory. Having said that, Kasabian didn't disappoint. I'm not a real fan of the band, but what we got here are two finely done pieces of electro-glam, rave house friendly post-punk, all wrapped up in synths and beats of old New Order or Depeche Mode. Both sides of this disc feature the song "Empire," the second side a raved-up, pumped up dancefloor Jagz Kooner Remix. Whether you like dance music or not, you'd have to be stone deaf or just dead not to feel this baby penetrating into your bloodstream, firing your neurons, physically forcing your leg muscles to contract and get your booty moving. Fans of the old techno scene will love this. I'll meet them on the dancefloor.


Sea Wolf


Eulogies


Dr. Dog


The Killers

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