Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sord - Endless Muselike Visions [Faux-Pas]

A long while back I reviewed Sord's tape Rebuking the Despoiler which was all over the place and and all the more flippin' awesome for it. With Endless Muselike Visions (released on Sam Gas Can's Faux-Pas imprint) the band has morphed into what I would more or less call a pop band but while keeping the bizarre brainwaves of the last tape flowin' strong. I don't know much about Sord's membership other than Zach Phillips (Horse Boys, Nals Goring) is involved. That alone is enough to get me excited but there are a lot more twisted minds at work here than just Phillips'. Enough of the intro...
"Racer Boys" kicks things off with heavy tape damage, speedy bass piano arpeggios and a breakneck narrative (I think?) about racer boys. "Dada" (as in papa) is a pretty skewed attempt at a barbershop quartet couched in plenty of clutter. "Not the Woman" is their take on the tender, heart bearing ballad and it's pretty darn good ("How many times have I told you/I am not the woman that you thought I was"). There's a pretty excellent, smoky nightclub jazz piano solo in there too that gets roughed up by a snagged tape. "Life is a Plant" is half piano pop and rambling harsh noise vocals. "Nature Identical Rose" has Chris Cooper's name attached, perhaps he provided the cluster of chattering, sci-fi blip-bloops that dominate the track. "Onion Rings" is actually about onion rings and eating them with a girl over fuzzy, frenetic keyboard melodies. You would guess that "The Way She Moves" would be another pop track but instead it's the noiseiest yet, with loads of fuzz, feedback and garbled tape. Unlike the weirder non-music "Palestine," "Lebanon" is a bouncin' song about Lebanon. Although, the phrase "My home town, it's Lebanon!" is making me wonder if it's about Lebanon, Oregon or another Lebanon in the USA instead. "Chancing" is an anything goes, everyone's junk on the floor piece which segues into the fuzzed out lullaby of Dave Berry cover "Stranger."
The second side is especially good, starting off with "Cameron," an angular piece with a bit stronger guitar presence to go with the tinkling ivories and the multitude of distorted off-key voices. "Bad Ass Shoes" is a pretty sweet a capella interlude about some bad ass shoes ("he won them in a contest!") "Kill You" is a standout track. Imagine Beat Happening, then imagine them having fun and your in the area code of this track. It's got the best lyrics on the tape too, the infectious chorus goes "I'm gonna kill you!/And your family too!/I'm gonna kill you!/And all of your friends!" "Tyler Toys" is a great interlude of sped-up "jazz," possibly a keyboard demo or something. The most beautiful melody of the tape comes on the oddly titled piece "Skit." It features some sublime keyboard work which I'm assuming is coming from the fingertips of Mr. Phillips. "I Don't Want Your Fucking Head" is straight up D.C.-style thrash that doesn't even make it to the half-minute mark. "Neumonia" is another speedy piano track about driving somewhere fast, still not quite sure what it's about. There are some skronky ("Know What"), rockin' ("Dog Trena") and silly ("Doo the Right Thing") interludes leading up to another favorite "Rold Gold" which is an incredibly catchy two minute noise pop tour-de-force. The funny thing about this tape is that my favorite track is one that I'm fairly certain Sord had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with. "Goodby Goodnight" is a fantastically bitching Asian big band pop song from I-don't-when. Sooooooo goooooood. You can't help but just groove to it.
Tearing through 24 tracks in under 30 minutes the tape is a totally excellent ride and there's no way to get bored. It makes for a good cure to those drone doldrums we all experience sometimes. The tape is still in print at the label for a very sweet price of 5 bucks.

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