(Side B) Unlistenable Mood Music From An Open Mood (Wolfbeat)
By: B.F. "e-Mole" Mowat
I've included both efforts of this Lo-fi Lansing, Michigan monstress in this review, simply because it's highly unlikely any of the other trendy cyber-rags have picked up on this woman's recordings.
For one thing, they're on a Canadian mail-order only outfit called Wolfbeat, which - prior to the release of these recordings - was best known for giving the world the go-go vamp instrumentals of the Transylvania 500.
For another, the modus operandi of V.C. is strictly lo-fi, and probably too "unprofessional" for 99.5% of the 'pro" indie zines out there. Most of the recordings sound like they were done on analogue, Radio Shack portable cassette recorders, using the ONLY finest three-for-a dollar tapes money can buy.
This is not a bad thing,though, especially given the context of the lady's influences: Hasil Adkins, '60's & '70's kitsch-kultur ("B" movies, garage-rawk etc), and the '80s low-fi ethos. And this sort of presentation is a propos for such pieces as "Poopin' Out The Worms" (from the first set of "mood music" pieces on Side B), "Brown Wank" (from the Songwriters Club section), "The Bag You Gave My Mom" (from the improv section of 'B'), and the trance piece, "Dreaming & Singing". (again, from 'B' - shades of Jandek!).
I listened to all of these things all the way through, and they made me smile several times, so I give it an "B+". Ergo: it can't be all that unlistenable now, can it?
If you are still wary: consider this: The first volume has more what most people would consider "normal" songs on it, including Want! (not the Fleshtones nugget), which (as of late) has turned up in the set lists of the fabulous six-tease garage-rawk group, The Flamingo-gos.
There's also some yodelling, and the autobiographical climax of the set, "I'm Going To Canada" which outdoes Sgt. Pepper on a way smaller budget, and reminds me of Eugene Chadbourne. It's all good, and you ccan buy these things dirt cheap, so what's stopping you?