Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Modern Folk: American Sewer - Leather Jacket - Surround Me (2015)

So that dude over at The Modern Folk has been busy lately. He dropped three albums at the same time, which being a fellow blogger you'd think he'd have some sympathy of my chronic plight of backlogged material to which I constantly feel a need to hear. A nagging obsession, one could say, I'm not. I'm in denial. cool as a cucumber as I ignore all my faults. Anyhow, here are what I'd been able to scribble down about these three lo-fi album our friend released and how much I liked them. All three have gems and when you get the chance, do hear them all.

To be had here:

Now there's the general sense of lo-fi, as in fuzzy rock music, but there is the reality of very lo-fi recording techniques. This is very much a hybrid offspring of both of these, doubtlessly purposefully fuzzed out, yet it couldn't help but to be any other way from what I know of J. Moss's recording methods. Therefore, the vocals are distant and the guitar heavily forward, which are features I've got a large affinity for. Of the three albums this is the most blues rock overall. Full of blues guitar patterns that'll be familiar to listeners of the blues or much garage rock.

More of a folksy/noise pop feeling to the songs on this album. The song feature a lovely and mildly lovely organ sound and the vocals are more prominent, in fact he's joined in his singing by a female vocalist. Makes for an excellent boy-girl duet style that suits the tracks nobly. "Don't Move In" and "My Wife Honey (Words)" will show how the Modern Folk makes dreamy noise pop. Then with "Gingham Dress (Brown Cow)" you'll hear what could be mistaken for a 1920s folkways recording. Pops back with the jaunty "It Hasn't Killed Me Yet." Leather Jacket possess many of my favorite songs from all three releases and shows perhaps the most songwriting bones.

Now, the third of these albums I got to hear. First thing that should catch a keen fan of lo-fi is that there's a cover of John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillin'" among the tracks. Not as good as the Gories version, but little on this Earth is. Fine nonetheless and part of a well-varied album. The songs feel more experimental on Surround Me, meandering musical sections that touch up with prog-rock, some of the lightest pop guitar, and a vocal affect that I'm not sure what to make of on a few of the tracks. And then there's another version of a tune we've heard earlier with "Gingham Dress (Plank Road)" that's fuller and richer.

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