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diskant rewind: Mild Head Injury #7

Posted: September 16th, 2008, by Simon Minter

(Originally posted May 2002)

Mild Head Injury by Simon Minter

MY CHILDREN! Walk with me. Walk through the forest of popular (although some would say unpopular) music as I guide you through an inky morass of badly-formed sentences and hasty reviews of some bits of plastic what have been spinning on my dusty, antique turntable and within my shiny, laser-guided compact disc unit. These are the tunes you should be digging like a weathered cemetery operative whilst you go about your daily business, and whilst you relax in your silk pajamas after a hard day’s hanging out.

Curve of the earth
CD single
Seriously Groovy LLL2125CD-S

I was scrabbling for literally HOURS in the back of my mind to place what ‘Curve of the Earth’ reminded me of, and it’s just come to me in a literally blinding flash. fdsluc cuicoui900 cjk;sa;e;e .. Ho Ho. I’ve not really been blinded. Anyway, it’s Grandaddy it reminds me of, in a similarly bass-driven, laid back kinda way, very nice indeed oh yes. I like it. It may not be particularly original but this kind of unoriginality is still streets ahead of the most original dour indie-goes-AOR shiterock which we’re forced to think of as ‘alternative’ via the media of the NME and Radio 1. But you know that, right? Otherwise you wouldn’t be sitting here with me, reading this over my shoulder (which, incidentally, is very rude). But, enough of that. There’s two more tracks on here which are a bit more half-asleep vocal in style, ‘langorous’ is a word which I don’t understand but which seems to sum it up. Like Built to Spill in a waking dream blah blah blah.


Gringo Records 012
Hello like, antelope Greg marceline rocks xylophone. Seven at times unconnected words, here connected to form a sentence which ultimately reads as a slew of gibberine. But look between the words and that’s where you’ll find meaning. Or maybe not. But you get what I’m driving at, right? I’m drawing parallels, see, between music and poetry. It’s as obvious as the nose on your face. Which brings almost too neatly to this album, which I found in my little bag after visiting All Tomorrow’s Parties this year. Did anyone from diskant mention that we’d been to ATP? It was pretty good, like. And anywhere that you come back from with records and CDs in your bag which you never previously owned has to be pretty good. Unless they’re stuffed full of heroin and you’re passing through a Middle Eastern airport, in which case look out! Them internal searches can be hell on the organs. But you do the crime, and you should do the crime, you know what I’m saying? Anyway. Don’t annoy me, and let me get back to this album. It’s great, very restful, a kind of slow builder, like Godspeed You Black Emperor! (or A Silver Mt. Zion, I’m told) in its use of mournful, scraping cello (?), chattering violins, plucked guitars and intricate, yet relaxed and spacious, melodies and textures. It’s about as post- as post-rock goes, which some could construe as unoriginality, but it’s so warm and welcoming that you can’t get angry with it. Hurray!

Panda Strong/Kaz Hyashi

Reptilian Records REP42
Half Half and Half/Everlong
Monitor MON011

Hey, here’s two little records from OXES, currently my most favourite band in all the world, and therefore your favourite band too, and therefore the most brilliant band in existence! Does that make me arrogant, saying that? Does it make any difference that it’s gotta be right, because it was typed with my genius hands? Is that arrogance? It’s so hard to tell in today’s modern culture-rich zeitgeist. The first record’s got a messier, rougher version of ‘Panda Strong’ off of the OXES’ album, backed up by some proper Iron Maiden-go-sludge-punk quirky madness. It’s all stop-start-angle-woah-noise-dynamic-slice-slice-slice-action. Intricate guitar lines wrapped around head-melting structures, all played like the playees couldn’t care less that they’re getting it so right, every time. ‘Half Half and Half’ is somewhat cleaner, like they’re in a better recording facility, or like they GAVE A SHIT whilst recording. So that’s a good/bad thing. What is has got is more control over repeating song parts and quiet/ARG dynamics. It sounds like 5 songs being minced together by Steve Albini. ‘Everlong’ is a cover of that song by Foo Fighters, and it’s naturally about a billion times more interesting to play at intense volume, yet kind of lame-assed in a presumably knowing fashion.

Bsides and Besides

555 555CD45
To get a better hold you’ve got to loosen yr grip
555 555CD40

This reviewing stuff in double hits lark makes things easier for everyone, except perhaps you, dear reader. So if it’s confusing you and making you feel like throwing your Apple Cinemascope 46″ monitor out of your elegant Art Nouveau plate glass window with rage and determination, I can only apologise. Or maybe you just have to think outside the box, huh? Anyway. Enough of the confrontation already. Boyracer remind me of my old extreme indie cute pop days, when I’d eagerly sit by the postbox waiting for the latest release by the Fat Tulips, Bouquet, Bulldozer Crash or that Brighter flexi with the hand-painted paper bag sleeve. Ah, happy days, and so many 7″s in plastic bags to remind me. It’s not even like Boyracer were one of them cutie kid bands, as except for the Sarah Records connection, they were like proper punk fucking rock to my young, impressionable ears. ‘Bsides and Besides’ is therefore designed for losers like me, being a collection of old/rare/live/alternate things which may or may not have once come out on a variety of compilation tapes, singles, flexis, wax cylinders, etc. (And it includes a live version of ‘Bitter’ which I once released on a compilation tape, fact fans, but do I get a credit for my part in their fame? Do I heck. I know I forgot to send the £3.40 royalty cheque, but – like – really.) The Boyracer of old were quite ramshackle and veered between heartfelt acoustic-ish songs to noisy feedback chaos, all held together (in general) by Stewart Anderson’s (who is also Steward, fact fans) straining, I-mean-this voice. But what of the Boyracer of modern times, you ask? Well, that’s where ‘To get a better hold you’ve got to loosen your grip’ comes in. For this is a NEW album! For those of you who thought the ‘Racer had split up, well, apparently not, they’re now some kind of globetrotting supergroup (my CDs came to me from the USA, with an Australian return address) with a lot of new members and a new shape of CD packaging in full effect (it’s origami gone clever). The new Boyracer still feature the distinctive and somewhat-more-breathy voice of Mr Anderson, welded to a clean, fast, sharp, efficient non-noisy-punk sound (if you get what I’m saying). 22 tracks in around 35 minutes, now that’s brevity! I think. It’s all super-tuneful, not in the least bit boring or repetitive, and the songs whip by at such a pace that you can’t do anything but smile like a goon at the fact that they made these songs just for YOU. Plus, my CD (although I can’t speak for them all) came with a free 5″ vinyl record! So it fits into the CD packaging! Now, that’s progress.

Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


1 Response to diskant rewind: Mild Head Injury #7

  1. Jason

    I fucking got angry with it (lol)