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GRAFFITI ISLAND/RAPID YOUTH/OLD BLOOD/MALE BONDING – split single (7″, Paradise Vendors)

Posted: May 31st, 2009, by JGRAM

Here is a release that serves as a signal of optimism for music while also providing fond memories and nostalgia of the lo-fi DIY scene of the late nineties.

Squeezed onto one piece of seven inch are four raucous, loud and poorly recorded bands driven by enthusiasm first and talent second, making the most of their resources.  Releases such as this are now almost a thing of the past and that is a definite tragedy when it comes to contemplating the future of music.

Recently coined as no-fi I think this music will only ever work on vinyl, the format that has always been most forgiving to the most primitive expressions of music.  I could not possibly imagine listening to this noise as an MP3 or on an iPod with a clear head.  Live however I cannot imagine a more fantastic din as I hope to see these ramshackle bands live very soon.

I was first introduced to Graffiti Island a couple of years when they hopped aboard the stage at the Scala before Les Savy Fav looking effortlessly uncaring and cool playing songs that sounded like Beat Happening covers which they made all their own.  This it seemed was the musical equivalent of a homemade Hawaiian shirt bearing a grudge.  Needless to say I loved their one song set for the audacity and the tunes.  As stylised and forced as it may feel, I just love this band.  Their contribution to this release is a spacious and busy party number benefiting from a HUGE hook that pierces and seals its place in the consciousness of my mind.  It feels retro in two ways.

Rapid Youth turn up with an altogether cloudier and muddy marching and galloping affair.  In the midst of so much fuzz this song/band also possesses a wicked hook that serves to deliver skewed pop to disorientate.

On the flipside everything about Old Blood is wrong and this only serves to make you love them worse.  If you have recorded a demo and fucked it up you will recognise this track.  Despite the horror there is a definite beat to the performance and a degree of coherence to what is a fiery exhibition.  Noise is a beautiful thing.

The more mannered Male Bonding close proceedings with a playful lo-fi song that reminds of a Yummy Fur chant with prickly bursts of energy and a pride all of its own.  It’s a rough as the rest of the release and just as charming.

This record is good times.

Thesaurus moment: commotion.

Graffiti Island

Rapid Youth

Old Blood

Male Bonding

Paradise Vendors



JGRAM

JGram, friend of the stars, chartered accountant and pie enthusiast, likes nothing better than KICKING YOUR SKINNY ASS by way of a carefully-timed half-nelson followed by the CLOTHES LINE! OW! So never, never cross him. His dog Snowy is equally rockhard and will bite your lim bs off in the blink of an eye. And then paw your eyes out for blinking when he's biting you.

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