Pick Your Foot Up Off the Brakes.
The Mountain Goats - Dialudid (Marrtronix Version) - So, The Sunset Tree has finally dropped, and now I need to say something about it, because it's probably the best album of the year so far. It's wierdly off-putting at first, in much the same way I think, that people expected Tallahassee and We Shall All Be Healed to be. The thing is, Darnielles been working with a full band for 3 albums now, but for the first 2 of those, he was still telling the same stories as always - it gave things a continuity that easily haded off the cries of "sellout!" But now, the stories John is telling are his own. And Dilaudid is the final buildup in an opening quintet that explodes into the riotous, raucous "Dance Music" as the albums first climax. On album, Dilaudid is tense tense tense, eschewing Johns guitar and bass in favor of a syrupy background of cellos while John D's proclamatory vocals lay down an ultimatum to a lover. The Marrtronix remix though, is something else. A B-side to the internet only Dilaudid Single (Availiable from 4AD records for just a few GB pounds - you can also get it from iTunes for 4 bucks.) The cello is replaced by a distinctly Smith's esque jangly guitar loop, which seems terribly out of place given Johns vocals. It desperately needs drums. But it's also compelling. The guitar has a hypnotic swirl after about 30 seconds or so, and I find it dangerous to listen to the song when driving - I end up doing what Darnielle tells me. And somebody, please, add drums to this. My own experiments with Garageband are distinctly lacking.
[Buy The Sunset Tree from Insound.com!]
The Moaners - Too Many People - In setting up my music collection on my computer again, I got to go through a lot of albums I hadn't listened to in some time. Among those was The Moaners Dark Snack, and I had to check 2 or 3 times that I really, actually, NEVER got around to posting this gem. It's dirty southern bluespunk - think The Kills with less sex and more paranoia, or the Drive By Truckers with a bit of the rawness of X. Too Many People is almost claustrophobic - there's no space here, and the effect is to send shivers through a listener. Where most songs about urban sprawl take an outraged tack, going after the traditional punk rock tack of pluggin feelings of alienation and hostility to conformity, the Moaners instead create a song that makes it downright creepy. the idea of crowds, traffic, parking lots, it all becomes something to be terrified of rather than to hate.
[You can Stream 2 more tracks at Yep Roc Records website, and buy the album too!