March 12, 2011

NAKED ON THE VAGUE/WET HAIR - "Split LP" (Night-People)

  Australian duo Naked On The Vague pair off with Iowa City duo Wet Hair, for a dazzling new split LP.Both of these acts have been gaining quite a bit of recognition over the last two years, with extensive touring in both AU and the US, as well as a string of solid releases from both bands.NOTV's side, shows the duo toying around with a more sprawling, shoegazey approach to the blasts of harsh no-wave that dominated last year's Heaps Of Nothing full length.The brittle guitar tones on "Cryptic Tonsil", might pay homage to someone like Kevin Shields, rather than Glenn Branca or Thurston Moore, and is easily the band's most accessible work to date.It's watery vocal harmonies flow slightly out of key, creating a nice contrast to the lush keyboard melodies and rich guitar chords.The rather haunting last track, "Send Them Sailing", is another slow ride, only this one takes a shortcut down old cemetery road, passing plenty of ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK and NO TRESPASSING signs along the way.The ghostly organ lines and skeletal guitar notes flutter down the same winding path, made up of minimal percussive clicks and rattles.NOTV's side is definitely a step into something more ethereal and colorful, but it's all just as dark and brooding as anything we've heard from them.Keep an eye out for their upcoming Twelve Dark Noons film score.

  Wet Hair are a duo from Iowa City that features Ryan Garbes on drums/percussion, and Shawn Reed handling the vocals, electronics, and other sound manipulations.Both are ex-members of the now defunct Raccoo-oo-oon.Shawn owns and operates Night-People Records, which released this split, and they both have their hands deep within the graphic design and art communities.Wet Hair has released a whole mess of tapes and ep's, as well as two highly acclaimed full lengths.These dudes are the workhorses of experimental music right now, and they always seem to be churning out something that's original and well received.Their side of this record kicks off with a rather playful and driving tune, and their most pop-oriented piece of music yet.The driving organ lines are something that you're likely find on a Nuggets compilation, with their hip-shaking melodies and cheerful vibes.Garbe's sturdy drumming stays mostly in the pocket, and plays right along side the pace of the keys, then you begin to wonder, this is the same Wet Hair?Yes, the very same band that gave us last year's incredible "Glass Fountain" LP, only their fits of tumbling Suicide worship,have blossomed into something a bit more sonically palatable.Reed's woozy vocals spill from his mouth in typical WH fashion, only more melodic and tuneful this time around.The sun-baked "The Labor of Love" is another  that showcases the duo's heart for early pop music.It's church-style organs are worthy of a classic Doors or Turtles tune, yet their piles of homemade, and bent electronics allow the songs to radiate, with a modern and inventive approach.Their days of heady psych-droning and lengthy electronic haze may be somewhat non-existent here, but this is definitely Wet Hair, and this is definitely their most accomplished of recordings.Hail to both sides of this.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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