Category Archives: Prog Rock

“Fire Back About Your New Baby’s Sex”

don
Don Caballero
American Don, 2000

Gotta love old post-rock song titles. And band names. And cover art.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/01%20Fire%20Back%20About%20Your%20New%20Baby’s%20Sex.m4a]

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“Dream House”

sunbather
Deafheaven
Sunbather, 2013

See that album cover above? Beautiful, isn’t it? You can buy the exclusive typeface if you want — only $30. Or how about a limited-edition jacquard woven throw blanket? Sit tight, friend — they’re sold out right now but expect more soon. All the Nordic metal bands did this too, right? No? You mean to tell me Venom never licensed its name to a line of free-trade organic coffee? Or that before the arrest, Burzum wasn’t in talks with IKEA to sell branded ceramic housewares? Odd, because when I think “black metal,” I think lifestyle music. Then again, Deafheaven is pretty much the only black-metal band I listen to. They’re that kind of metal — the kind sweetened with somber, post-rock instrumental passages and shoegaze guitars. With an album title that sounds like it belongs to a lost John Cheever story. Basically, black metal for people who use throw blankets. People not unlike yourself, perhaps.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/01%20Dream%20House.m4a]

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“Halleluhwah”

tagomago
Can
Tago Mago, 1971

So this is the New Year! Let’s make a deal: if I resolve to be a little more consistent about posting to TBSYHAD (5 songs a week, like I told myself in the beginning), will you resolve to check the site more often? Really? You will? As a sign of your loyalty, will you also promise to listen to “Halleluhwah” in its entirety today? I’m not gonna ask that you stay seated the entire time — it’s cool if you need to get up to do the dishes or something. I mean, 19 minutes … that’s about how long it takes to do dishes anyway. I promise it’ll be worth it. I was reminded recently how much I love this band — specifically for this album and Ege Bamyasi — when I heard the spooky “Vitamin C” over the opening moments of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice. “Halleluhwah” captures a similar anxious groove, then stretches it beyond all reasonable measure.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/04%20Halleluhwah.mp3]

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“On Molasses Lake (Treading)”

7027
Roadside Monument
Split EP w/ Puller, 1997

Roadside Monument were a ‘90s math-rock band that played without the clean precision of a Don Caballero or Hella; their murky, detuned wanderings fell more along the Shellac/Jawbox end of the spectrum (fitting, as Bob Weston and J. Robbins both engineered records for the group). As a dedicated 3-piece seemingly un-enamored of overdubs, they were limited in range but excelled with what they had. I suppose their album-length high water mark would’ve been 1998’s I Am the Day of Current Taste (best song title: “OJ Simpson House Auction”), but my personal favorite is EP orphan “On Molasses Lake,” which steadies the band’s erratic impulses just long enough to allow two very indie, very ‘90s verses to take hold. After that of course comes the requisite explosion: surging guitar, syncopated drumming, and a dramatic cry of “May we not be forgotten!” Doing my part to make that happen.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/03%20On%20Molasses%20Lake%20(Roadside%20Monument).mp3]

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“MAKE OUT OR BREAK UP”

surface to air

Surface To Air Missive
Surface To Air Missive, 2014

Talk about a curveball. The unholy/humid Florida garage union of Big Star and Thin Lizzy, Surface to Air Missive set down this year on Leaving Records with a dent in the fretboard and a hole in the heart. Make that his heart? The sole province of Tallahassee-based Taylor Ross, STAM’s debut was recorded alone on manifestly shitty gear but sounds like the work of fully-functioning, Allman-swilling, prog-swamp van rockers who showed up just in time for the gig. In 1973. “Make Out or Break Up” might be the project’s easiest entry point, jettisoning Ross’ mumbled Chilton-esque vocals in favor of guitar heroics Phil Lynott himself would envy. And if I make any more retro/Southern allusions, I’m gonna fire myself. Listen to the album in full for a richer experience.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/07%20Make%20Out%20Or%20Break%20Up%201.mp3 ]

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