Thursday 21 November 2013

Painting Up Gizmos For Gulcher

Two records that I received belatedly over the past month have come from the stable of Gulcher Records (Kurt Vile, Home Blitz, Screamin Mee-Mees).

The first is a veritable veteran for label - 70s Indiana miscreants The Gizmos. The Gizmos Go To Purdue 1979 is pretty self-explanatory, and is the only way to really experience the garage punk pariahs - yet there are plenty of live recordings of this band, why am I so in love with this cut? Because it's recorded from a performance at a house party - the insanity is already buzzing through my subconscious - but is also one of the best sounding efforts due to it being a 4-track machine as opposed to being converted from a tape deck. They had just opened for the Ramones! Plus they open up with 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing' - who isn't going to get some festive cheer before downing their own weight in frothy beer? The entire performance is uncut, so we hear the PA fuck up, songs played out of tunes, new tracks aired that only a few gigs later were cut from the set list, never to be thought of again - these are the best parts of my favourite bootlegs - it's the full visceral experience short of actually being there. And sure, it would have slayed, but I missed it, so why bother? Because I wasn't even born yet, you donkey. So this is the best I can get - and it fuels parties of my own, so the cycle continues...

Then we have David Drucker. Don't know him? That's cool - he won't mind. He would rather you knew him as Painted Faces anyway. The guy has emulated the bedroom pastiche recording philosophies of the most peripheral of artists, molding it into his own style, and it makes for amusing, eclectic, infectious listening. Alone In My Head collects recordings across the last five years, and the influences Drucker lists speak for themselves - experimental composers and improvisers, second-rate pop stars, freaky outsiders, B horror movies and other films, art both "high" and "low," mind-altering substances, psychedelia, sound, boredom, isolation, junk food, conversations, environments, dreams, revolutions, time travel, low-level philosophy, memories, insanity, humour, science fiction, nature, surrealism, literature, observations, things, people in general, and smoking lots of pot. Above all else, though, Painted Faces is a wonky pop behemoth that will dig its hooks in relentlessly, even if you can't work out why.

You can buy these releases here and here.

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