Novel or Novelty?
Great! Another record that I have to worry about getting scratched or whatever. A flexi disc glued upon a screened art piece of cardboard. Totally hands-on. True, I obliterated the plastic sleeve opening the package and with a trip to Dayton planned ahead of me, I’m afraid for my copy... Afraid by time I sit down to listen to it, it will be warped or otherwise. In my mind, I feel this record is really fragile and wont last long. You can call that anxiety or instinct... You decide, but really, is that a bad thing?
Impermanence... Frail beauty... Wait, I’m right up the alley with those terms/ideas so why fret now? Pshaw... A record isn’t a record until it gets thrown full-blast across the room and THEN you play it. This club is for survivors only! On the count of three, I’m throwing this record... to make it a survivor. If it lives, good. If it dies, Good-er.
Long story short, after the survivor throw, the product came to rest in the 'need listens' stack along with the accompanying flag. Flag? Yes, flag(a)! How many bands have flags? I know of none... so points for that.
So I find myself dropping-in to a good non-ape facing face plant posture... Nice even ending of a rather sharp semi-vicious week. I strap in. And the ride is smooth. "Have you listened to this yet?" He sez holding up the Mardou flexi. "Nah." I respond. "Put that mother-fucker on for a spin."
So this review isn't a review of my copy(b), it's a review of his copy.
The needle hits home a groove (?) and... Scrufff. Scruff. Scruff.
One slight glance from him to me and I know what he is thinking-because I'm thinking the same thing-- he shot me a serious soundless look that had furled eyebrows look in it but I end up saying it aloud.
"Not a good mother-fucking sign man. I own 40 year old albums that sound like that... Better than that..." My plan to commit myself to saying motherfucker 5-7 times a day is playing out nicely just in case you were wondering.
He knows exactly what I mean about the records immediate sound. He has albums that old too. Like I said. He shot me the look.
Two songs adorn this project. The first one is "Rimbaud" one of four recent downloadable Mardou songs from one of their first 'official' recording sessions (Cardigan EP) that the unit of Mardou, as Mardou has became known, recorded. Previously, Mardou were a one-dude bedroom punk band. I know, the term bedroom punk had to be clarified to me via a peer but sounds eerily masturbatory solo erotic-ish. I envision a mother knocking on her sons’ bedroom door to tell him that dinner is ready, but as she turns the handle to enter the door is locked. LOCKED! This infuriates her! He could be doing drugs or doing masturbation. Both were illegal, nasty and moralistically wrong. She knocks harder. Yells loudly. The son yells angrily saying "MOM! I'm playing guitar!" and sez it louder a second tine because his Mom has a hasty habit of saying "Whhhhaaaaat?" most times when people address her. In a full blown yell, Dylan tells louder "MOM!!! I SAID I'M PLAYING GUITAR!!!
Yeah, most of this review was conceived while high. You noticed! You’re such a batman(c).
All it took was a few listens of Dylan McCartney’s self-made demos to hear the potential greatness that the now expanded (complete?) four-piece unit of Mardou has become. Good songs became great songs and now great songs are becoming phenomenal as this band finds it's placed in Cincinnati’s underground music heritage.
So. "Rimbaud" starts playing and after the scriffs it becomes apparent that this copy of the project may be compromised. What should have been "Rimbaud" sorta sounded like it... Like it was some sort of... 'Re-mix.' Laden with skips... It was unmistakable. Somewhat of a drag that would have had much more anger if I were a newbie to this bans and never heard the song before.
|Mardou (l-r): E. A(e). E. D|
Besides the compromised music portion of this initial listening, we were otherwise quiet. We were both trying our best to make something, anything from the frustration of expectations being stabbed through the ear with a hypodermic needle (it's not fun, trust me)
"I don't know about you, but I'm NOT in the pit!" I say. "This does NOT sound like fun" (his personal catchphrase that he asks himself when he hears new music.
We chopped thru "Rimbaud’s" first listen. I heard this song before. I know what it's supposed to sound like. It’s a solid song (I must emphasize that by repeating myself) but I had the power of already knowing. Someone who would be getting this and not having the luxury of knowing before hand would be mad. That could prove fatal for a new band like Mardou... To which I would say "Please stay with them. I promise the next thing will be the 'Real Deal Mardou'.
Even after record player arm adjustments. I nervously laughed. He continued to shake his head at the Uttley and semi-ridiculousness that was unfolding. We stood side by side when the second song, "Bounty Hunter," began.
Mardou’s "Bounty Hunter" is one of my favorite songs by this band and maybe from the many Cincinnati bands that ever existed. We both listened to the record standing up- Side by side. I can say that we at least it looked funny but that may have been the cannabis creeping in. The accompanying flag was also displayed in a dramatic reasoning that some form of undiscovered sonic-voodoo and/or procedure was needed in conjunction with the flag, a charming novelty of pure genius (I love flags) to get this record where it needed to be. Maybe this was the procedure to get shit right. The record could only work with the flag!
So the flag was displayed. We continued standing for another try of "Rimbaud"
Nope. Trash. "Bounty Hunter" played again without problem. What a great song (still).
Honestly, I'm only writing about this release because I like this band. It's not like I don't like this record either... Well, actually I don't like this record, but I appreciate it if even on a level of notoriety and previously awarded reputation that Mardou have been awarded. I know this band is better than this release. Hang in there with me loyal Thwart readers. I promise, we gave only witnessed a soft introduction of this band concerning this release. I don't know how else to say it, this band is great. This release? Meh... I'm still glad I got it and it's taken a collection of small tedious moments since it's first listen to get this review(d) out.
This 'for fans only' release may be a cannabis buzz killer to new interested parties. I'm just going to stop there. I keep going over and offer the same points about this band and this release when simply put its as simple as this:
|My Fav Mardou Pic. Blood Guitar.|
Notoriety NOT novelty.
RIYL: Post-Punk, Joy Division.
a = Really, more of a banner but verily display worthy.
b = The one I threw across the room.
c = I’m Batmam
d = That really sounds more like a warning