TRACK | MENU – Sorcery

5/5 golden merles

“Sorcery” is the first single off the upcoming album from MENU, Pushpin, out October 31st. It follows in the vein of April’s superb/experimental art rock PROOFS (OF THE TRICKS WE PLAYED). It heads off expectations, narrowly avoiding them, in pacing and then pivoting, grappling with guts of the track and turning them back into functional systems of consequence. In playing with tradition through a kind of invention it is achieving a type of escape velocity.

It has some semblance to the works of Flegel/Women/Cindy Lee in the emergence of delicately over elaborated melodies that turn out to be entirely and immediately structurally sound; that selfsame feeling of walking out into the dark and finding sure footing. The presence of the drums is compelling and propulsive, more so than supportive and undergirding. There is some energy in its construct, as if to say: What if traces of math rock could be enjoyed by humans? A proposition I hadn’t seriously considered. But there are tinges and tints to this of that, humanely and held all together.

Look for the album at the end of the spooky month. For now the single is a sole dollar on the bandcamp for the digital experience, which directly supports the artist. Or you could wait and listen to it on Spotify approximately 277 times and the royalties will also accrue to roughly one dollar (not including the fees of distribution).

TRACK | Wombo – Dreamsickle

5/5 golden merles

It is unusual to see musicians take from their own influences internal mechanics and pull from them with purpose, to see them take components retooled into new structures as though they are transmittable. Wombo does this.

Whereas, outside of general stylings and instruments, most bands attempt to replicate the feeling, a solipsistic slant drilling at a common reservoir. And I am one of them. I have misunderstood my influences, from an engineering perspective.

It is hard to remember, but you must play the game as it is, not as it appears to be.

Here are bands I love that Wombo reminds me of: The Strokes, Ought, Broadcast, Lower Dens, The Mallard, Television, and so on… That should be enough good things.

Here is a quote from Annie Dillard, promising alternate cores or reservoirs and the mechanisms to get there:

“We teach our children one thing only, as we were taught: to wake up. We teach our children to look alive there, to join by words and activities the life of human culture on this planet’s crust. As adults we are almost all adept at waking up. We have so mastered the transition we make a hundred times a day, as, like so many will-less dolphins, we plunge and surface, lapse and emerge. We live half our waking lives and all of our sleeping lives in some private, useless, and insensible waters we never mention or recall. Useless, I say. Valueless, I might add — until someone hauls their wealth up to the surface and into the wide-awake city, in a form that people can use.”

TRACK | Wombo – Sad World

5/5 golden merles

Wombo’s Blossomlooksdownuponus is end-to-end the best full length I’ve heard in awhile. No doubt some variation of the recent singles, EPs and LPs will find their way onto the next few mixes I spam unsolicited at my friends and family. And, again, I owe it to the folks at various small flames. Go there, it’s better than this place.

There are extreme levels of grace on this thing. What a talented team of folks, threading the needle of perception, of content and form, of what is tolerable and what is memorable.

As the old saying goes, a camel has a greater chance of passing through the eye of a needle than an art rock band has of creating a convincing hook.

There is here a form of post-punk that aspires for much more than novelty or style, that backs aesthetic with songcraft and substance, using the energy in either to propel the other forward. Sometimes one or the other is sufficient, but it needn’t be.

I can’t help feeling like my merely mentioning it degrades it’s quality slightly, which is maybe why I haven’t heard of the thing to this point. But there is too much to admire within.

I have blundered slightly in purchasing the WOMBO COMBO, denying me unlimited streaming rights to the LP. However, it may genuinely be worth purchasing twice.