I first heard this album, pre-mastered, while cruising around with the windows down on a muggy summer evening with my friend Dryw (who manages the band) on the way to see Radiohead. Fitting. It’s a long way from their previous efforts - couple Rob + Sarah added new band members, Al + Greg, and went from ultra-lo-fi & noisy slap-snare garage songs to beautifully heavy 90’s throwback shoegaze sound that sounds as My Bloody Valentine as it does Sleater-Kinney.
Don’t miss their excellent forthcoming Yeah Right LP from Kanine Records out on October 9th.
The problem with Monster Rally and his haunting, Joe Meekian tape loops is that he so often paints himself into endlessly reciprocating tight corners, with not much thought for graceful exits or branching paths. The central Monster Rally ethos maintains that each track consists of just one phrase, or movement, that forever replicates itself in much the same manner as a broken record. This formal rigidity and lack of direction leaves a lot of his music with no choice other than to simply dissipate after a few minutes; rarely pushing the three minute mark in most cases. That may be why something like the heavily-segmented ‘Strange Creeper’ succeeds, as it feels a lot more proportionally suited to the drifterly, impermanent pace that Ted Feighan obsesses over. Essentially four regular sized Monster Rally songs cut into one five minute one, it retains all of his jilted, cinematic terror, anxiety and beauty, but in a much more efficient package.
August 6 would have been Elliott Smith’s 43rd birthday, and to mark the occassion, his former label Kill Rock Stars is sharing a series of rare, unreleased tracks. It starts with a version of “Alameda”, recorded during the same sessions that yielded the album version featured on…