The Upshot: What would you say to a near-perfect amalgam of Elephant 6, Flying Nun, and classic Velvets/Feelies?
BY FRED MILLS
How the hell did I miss out on—overlook—this smokin’ Athens, Georgia, duo? Just consulting their artist page at the esteemed HHBTM label’s site yields a slew of releases, with at least two prior LP/CD releases from the label to their credit. (Their official website indicates that this new one makes a total of four albums and “a lost CD” to date. Oh, and they also used to be a 5-piece.) On the basis of this wonderfully noisy, delightfully indie-garage-poppy album—which, for all you fellow vinyl fans, can be scored (for the time being, at least), on sweet orange wax—one would have to say that there’s still something in that Athens water. Good to know the municipal powers that be haven’t removed the lysergic-o-nogens that the B-52’s, Pylon, and R.E.M. dumped in the reservoir all those years ago.
Add the Elephant 6 musical mafiosos to that list of usual suspects, because Roadrunners does have that telltale E6 lo-fi-goes-psychedelic ambiance to it. Whomping lead track “MKUltra” (now there’s a “telltale” kind of song title) careens hither and yonder via the band’s patented guitar/drums setup, a brash mashup of vintage c80 shambling pop and blazing Amerindie rock; while the thrumming “Time After Time After Time After Time”—no, it’s not a Cyndi Lauper trib—injects a distinctive Feelies/Velvets vibe to cement the Eureka California alliance with the E6 collective. And the drop-dead masterful “How Long Has This Been Going On?”—no, it’s not that played out classic rock hit—has, what with its brisk, part-jangly/part-grungy riffing, akimbo rhythms, and yearning vox, is quite possibly the best Flying Nun Records song never recorded by a Flying Nun Records combo.
This group stands a good chance of being my favorite discovery of 2018. If Check back with me in late December, but meanwhile, here’s your opportunity to make a similar discovery. If there’s any justice in the world, the talented young lady and young man here will eventually be winking slyly all the way to the bank.
DOWNLOAD: “How Long Has This Been Going On?,” “Mexican Coke,” “Time After Time After Time After Time”