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Songs (180g) Vinyl LP

Ribbon MusicSKU lp-9835

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  • Lab Overview
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Lab Overview

This is what I assumed the band Hüsker Dü would sound like before I actually heard any of their songs: slow, lo-fi post-punk with a gruff voice booming over it. They don’t actually sound anything like that (but like John Maus, they’re from Minnesota!). Maus wrote the material that would eventually make up Songs when he was just a young undergrad at Cal Arts (roommate: Ariel Pink), without any inclination that he’d ever have a career in music or that anyone would ever hear his work: “I kept writing to the guy at Kill Rock Stars, which was the label Elliott Smith had been on. Finally, he actually wrote me back and said, ‘Dude, we don’t like your music.’ So I wrote back at him, explaining the modulations in ‘Time To Die’ and how I’m using these modes he can’t hear.” What you can hear is the John Maus formula (analog drum machines, baroque synth melodies, guttural baritone voice echoing down a bottomless pit) being sculpted in real time by his contrasting adoration for Handel and the deluge of lo-fi / krautrock / post-punk records his new college friends were feeding him. But it’s more wide-eyed than the comparably focused Love Is Real and Pitiless Censors; Maus mines the dusty cobwebs of his psyche for tunes ranging from the austere (“Less Talk More Action”) to the theatric (“Of North Of North Stars”) and maudlin (“And Heaven Turned To Her Weeping”), even resembling the stoned prog of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti at times (“Blowing In The Mind,” “The Peace That Earth Cannot Give,” “That Night”). Not to mention the incredibly catchy “Just Wait Till Next Year,” “Maniac” and “Don’t Be A Body.” A disorienting but thrilling listen from start to finish, recommended.

  • 180g vinyl pressing
  • poly-lined inner sleeve
  • digital download included
  • limited edition
  • music label: Ribbon Music 2018
reviewed by yung pilot astray 07/2018
UPC: 887834007418


Review & Q+A


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