For those of you who already have it, pat yourselves on the back! For those of you who don’t, GET ON IT.
Finally getting to this 4-way split from Pat at Stumparumper. It’s not so far after the holidays is it? I still have to throw out the tree, take down the stockings…who cares. I have a life! (i.e. I have to think about singles. – ed)
I have a Banned Books full length from Stump I have to get reviewing already so I was curious to get a taste of those guys and then I spotted a new Fuck Montreal track? I’m in. And what do you know? Snow is back!
There is a special place in the 7″ boxes for holiday singles, it’s a staple 7″ browsing table of the WFMU record fair…but I’m tempted to avoid it completely, because there is some terrible shit out there with a holiday theme. I would be forced to buy and listen to tiny tim, or other ridiculous celebrities covering royalty free barf. So I’ll stick to bands I know I like already who have just happened to have recorded something for that special time of the year. Or in the case of this split, it’s esssential…all originals to this release, even written for this 7″…
Banned Books ‘XXXMas’ uses church bells in such a crazy way, at first you think of course, this is exactly where I would go, but the entire composition is so wacky, and classically pop it’s an immediate gem. Like all the Pixies or that Lonesome Crowded West album from a band that will go unnamed…it’s unexpectedly melodic, completely surprising, there is a distinct voice here and it’s incredible. The fact this is written specifically for this single is amazing. This is where I think Stumparumper is really doing an incredible public service…really….providing a unique artifact of these 4 bands, curating these 4 together that just wouldn’t have ever existed.
Granny Frost, is another perfect example out of Chicago has a stream of consciousness vocals, use every instrument experimental pop mentality that I really appreciate, like Why? or The Unicorns…A Faulty Chromosome…you can hear the hours of layers and cutting and pasting into 2 minutes of saturation. It’s Times Square, an insane jawdropping spectacle of word play. I forget for a minute this has anything to do with Christmas, and I keep catching new connections every time I hear it.
And it’s far from over the ‘Eh’ side starts with Hoop Dreams, who are part of the Radiator Collective with Scribbler and Fuck Montreal. Their track, ‘Under a Christmas Star’, is an impassioned late 80’s story of the baby in a manger. It’s pretty hilarious in it’s sincerity, the falsetto chorus part with the giant headphones held up to one ear, eyes closed…. ‘Frankincense and Myrrh…’, it’s a gravelly, country rock Ween-ish take on a Christmas cover. They even work ‘Little drummer boy’ into it, this could unexpectedly slide into that channel playing The Boss’ ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’, and not feel out of place.
Next up Fuck Montreal, who are doing a pretty traditional version of ‘Do you hear what I hear?’, with with all sorts of electronic weirdness happening just underneath the acoustic guitar, and toy drums. It’s featuring Jenna and Alex’s vocal talents, harmonizing on this classic, they have a sensitive side after all, they are playing it straight, and it comes off as a real effort to bring some sort of life into an overplayed classic. That’s the least you hope to do with a Christmas cover…and it’s not easy…
This vinyl comes on a swirly red clear variety for the first 100…if you get it quick. Sleeves are appropriately printed red or green and handnumbered… go support Pat already for the love of Christmas.