"Good music is good music, and that should be enough for anybody.” - Brad Nowell

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Mailman, thx for the 7"s (BS/HWM &AM!)

Over the past holiday season, I splurged a few bucks on some pretty cool records made by some of my fav bands.  Previously, I've detailed one, Against Me!'s High Pressure Low 7" single, and not-so-previously-mentioned I was fortunate to order some more ear candy: The Bouncing Souls/Hot Water Music split 7".

The Against Me! 7" came tightly packaged in a square, brown parcel accompanied by a digital download card, which is fucking great since I haven't owned a record player in years(crazy, right?), a button with Sabot Productions logo and a sb/w sticker with portions of the lyric to Against Me!'s song "Suffocation."  Those lyrics read: "Daughters in arm, we all are orphans."  The sticker is identical to the cloth draped over the amplifiers as seen on Against Me!'s 2010 tour.  So, what about the songs?

  1. "High Pressure Low (acoustic)" - I wasn't sure what to expect with Against Me! having been built on the sole strumming of Tommy Gabel playing an acoustic guitar, and I took quick note of how the White Crosses(2010) version of this song has no resonance of anything shy of slick, glossy production; you can hear an acoustic guitar stroke here and there, but it's not the backbone of the song.  Now, if you go through the catalog of AM! records, you'll eventually come across lower-budget, classic sounding acoustic tracks.  Shit, they even have a whole acoustic e.p. which I wish was a little bit longer, and is loaded with quality songs.  But, this acoustic rendition of "High Pressure Low" is in-line with their newer records as it is produced well, and brings the acoustic guitar to the fore-front with the percussion of what sounds like jungle noises, clicks, and possible dog toys(?) to bring some rather nice support.  Upon first listen, I almost dismissed the track because of the percussion, but by the 3rd listen, I caught on to how well it works, and really brings some interesting change to the Against Me! body of songs.  Tom's vocals are well recorded, and the chorus has an ambiance of singing in an alleyway or open yet covered space.  I have realized I don't know enough about audio engineering to describe this accurately, but it's notable the song concludes with a whistle blow. Mmm hmm
  2. "Strip Mall Parking Lots (acoustic)" - gives you Tom and his acoustic guitar playing a driving 1-2 beat that has a Johnny Cash quality, one man with a guitar played with an almost western/country flair, bearing lyrics portraying youth spent in suburban South-West Florida, at well, strip mall parking lots.  I instantly related to the opening lyrics of: "Smoking cigarettes in a strip mall parking lot, there's nothing to do around here but hangout. Isn't that just like everywhere else?"  Though I've barely spent more than a few hours in SW Florida, it wasn't too unlike that in my hometown, in the suburbs between Philadelphia, Pa and Trenton, Nj.  When my mom would kick us out of the apartment for the day, I'd always reply with "but, what else are we supposed to do besides hangout?" She'd reply with a: "I don't care, just get your asses outside and find something to do.  You spent all day in here, yesterday, and you're not gonna do it today."  Which was over-all fine; we got away with more than we should've when we were teenagers: my friends, brother and I.  So, the rest of the song is giving a tour of SW Florida as Tom sees it, and I've managed to find a video of the track.  Check it out:

The 7" looks like this:
So, the photo of side "B" isn't an exact representation of what the 7" looks like; you're over it.

The Bouncing Souls/HWM split is fucking killer for a few reasons.

  1. This record is loud.  Unfortunately, I ended up buying this album 2x because it didn't come with a digital dl card.  I don't care; in the last concert review I posted I pointed out how Bouncing Souls covered "Wayfarer", live and it was so good, I knew I was getting my money's worth for buying 2 formats of this album.  So, I downloaded the mp3 version, and immediately had to lower the volume in my car upon first listen as the crunch of the distorted guitar which opens "Wayfarer"quickly let the guy in the car next to me know I was listening to something rockin'.  
  2. It looks cool. The respective band logos and writing are all engraved on the jacket, and the vinyl is colored differently on both sides with the primary color being black splashed with a tie-dye look of grey and red dispersed throughout.  
  3. These are songs which have great messages born of everlasting lyrics: "We are wayfarers with a wish to stay alive for a cause, for a dream; there's much to move in a moving sea."  THAT. is something I, surely, would get tattooed on my body.  I wouldn't be doing anything I'm doing, these days, if I didn't feed into my dreams and attempt to live them out; some of them have worked out rather okay.   Also,“I’ve got a few friends I’ll love till I die! From all these people I try to learn; some of them shine, some of them burn.” Great.
  4. Both renditions of each band's song, as covered, hold up to the originals and impart a new life to the tracks.  Chuck sings with so much sincerity in his voice, you'd swear he penned "True Believers" himself.  The Souls are the singers of some of the finest gang chorus "woahs" you'd ever ask for; "Wayfarer" is an instant classic.
  5. The record came packaged with a hazard orange sticker identifying a record was inside, and to be the fuck careful.  Good job, Chunksaah.

Now, something really, absolutely fucking awesome happened in December 2010 during the Bouncing Souls, Hot Water Music & Dave Hause tour in Australia:

The 'Budbath Down Under' Encore - Wayfarer from D.I.Wireless on Vimeo.
The Bouncing Souls, Hot Water Music and Dave Hause (The Loved Ones) did the rounds of Australia in December 2010 in a tour coined as 'The Budbath Down Under'.

The 'Budbath Down Under' Encore - True Believers from D.I.Wireless on Vimeo.
The Bouncing Souls, Hot Water Music and Dave Hause (The Loved Ones) did the rounds of Australia in December 2010 in a tour coined as 'The Budbath Down Under'.

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