Posts Tagged ‘Feeding Tube’

Matthew J. Rolin

Finally hitting a week where I can catch up on all the great LPs in the pile, many of which come from the esteemed Feeding Tube. This one’s for the fingerpick freaks out there, and while it hits the heartstrings of those weaned on Fahey and, more importantly, Kottke, it appears that Rolin has a more modern thorn in his side. The artist comes from Cleveland garage and psych outfits (most notably Nowhere) that ramble far less than they hop through the haze. After a shift to Chicago Rolin ditched the echoplex dreams for acoustic inflection, leaning heavier on the new class kickers like Ryley Walker, Daniel Bachman, William Tyler, and Richard Bishop more than the Tompkins Square set for his inspiration. No matter what the inroads, though, the impact remains the same. Like American Primitive dominoes the influences trickles through in his playing and he enters into the new class alongside Itasca, Kendra Amelie, and Joseph Allred as carriers of the torch.

Influences aside, the album is a refreshingly vernal take on the form. Tracks tumble and sparkle with life. His runs are rapid, but cut through with a slide-blues dissonance that sides with passion over precision. There’s a forlorn quality to songs like “Siren” and the appropriately titled “Neverendingness,” but Rolin works his way through mourning, meditation, and celebration all in good time as the record unfolds. There’s been a staggeringly great run of new fingerpicked music over the last decade and this is a lovely addition to the roster. Just check out that Ryley curated Tompkins Sq LP for a taste (Rolin’s included) to really get acquainted. This one’s getting scarce (my fault for not giving it some love sooner) but where you find it, you should certainly pick it up.



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Sore Eros

The histories of RSTB and Sore Eros are fairly intwined. A long running fixture on the site, the band also graced the first show ever booked under the banner of RSTB at Northside festival a million years back. So, its only fitting that as the band releases their swan song it should wind up here. Robert Robinson has been holding the spark, but the band drifted to different coasts and doesn’t find themselves working live so much any more. Enter engineer/producer (and the force behind The War On Drugs) Adam Granduciel, who was able to coax the band’s distant members back into the studio for a fitting sunset on the band. The band simmers in a brand of soft-focus psych — part folk’s whisper, part hypnogogic shimmer, and here, part sun-kissed West Coast foam rolling back out to sea. The low-light linger adds a nice touch to sound and gives the whole record a relaxed nature that reverberates calm and coolness.

The record orbits around the ten-minute plus roil of “Ocean Tow,” an unusually extensive cut from a band who usually keeps things in the pop song range. The stretch works and they slide down the movement chute as the track folds and unfolds itself in billowing layers . Floating around the centerpiece, the band pings through the echoplex quasars, feeling out the foam with a bittersweet bent. Though this may be their last, the record makes a strong statement of purpose for Sore Eros. They were never at the forefront, but for those that dug into their tender psychedelic heart, it was a welcome journey.




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Taxidermists – “Meet Again”

Massachusetts’ Taxidermists fire back with a tripleshot single after their sorely overlooked Feeding Tube LP from last year. Still tightly wound and ready to blow, the songs are pop rocks packets of angst and angles. There’s a brittleness that the duo shares with No Age, though they often come off like a scrappier Omni. Those overtones are present on all three tracks here, but the opener, “Meet Again” is laced with a lingering sadness that’s not always present in the band’s work. It’s brittle, but ready to crumble under the emotional weight behind it. The band, so far, has bubbled far beneath the radar but here’s hoping they keep pushing out great records like this until their catalog begs a look. The EP is out now on a pay as you wish version on Bandcamp. Throw the band some love and a few bucks if you can.




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Joseph Allred

The last outing from Joseph Allred, 2019’s O Meadowlark solidified Allred’s reputation as a consummate picker, one whose style moved with an effortless grace from slippery Fahey runs through the more buttoned up blisters of Kotke and the spiritual slants of Basho. Like the latter player in that triumvirate, Allred takes a swipe at vocal blues on his latest, Traveler. While the majority of the record still showcases his chameleonic stringwork, on the album opener and title track, he lends his voice to an emotionally fraught tale that proves out of the gate that he’s not just a master of the strings. Over the next few songs Allred works his way through brambles and rabbles of notes that, while certainly virtuosic, also serve to salve and calm. It’s a pastoral, primal record that’s knotted with tangled roots and torn soil. Allred wears the mantle of natural conduit well, lending Traveler a soiled grace that’s hard to shake.

When his blues pop through once more, they don’t break the spell, instead giving the earthen rambles an anchor of humanity that tills the topsoil of the instrumental odes. “The Crown” feels sung by moonlight – a barn song that rings through the rafters with a pang of sadness. Allred swaps between banjo and guitar with such admirable ease that the change in instruments doesn’t jar in the least, letting the two timbres weave together into a tapestry of sound, looping lustrous thread through the earth tones of his sonic fabric. He caps off the vocal offerings with “O Columbia” a song that snags a few loose Fahey ends (specifically “In Christ There Is No East or West,”) and ties them to a sighing track that slips beneath the horizon as the record lopes into the last lap. The record finally fads away with a touching tribute to Glen Jones that tips a hat to one of Allred’s more modern influences. This may very well be his finest, and hopefully opens the door for more vocal offerings from the songwriter.



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Willie Lane – A Pine Tree Shilling’s Worth

Starting in 2009 guitarist Willie Lane issued a run of albums on his own Cord-Art label, ranging from fingerpicked folk to ragged blues. The albums, Known Quantity, Guitar Army of One and A Pine Tree Shilling’s Worth all seeped out quietly and went out of print quickly. Thankfully Feeding Tube have sought to correct the scarcity of the originals with a run of reissues over the last couple years and they’re now drawing that to a close with a new version of Pine Tree, which might be the best of the bunch. The LP is far more electric than the other two in the trilogy, leaning in heavily to the ragged blues and experimental feel of the series. The record isn’t tied to genre or feeling, but explores a shifting sense of sound that’s as rooted in the Takoma take on folk as it is in the dirt-caked Philly scene that would surface years later. Lane acts as a bridge between eras and does so without any whiff of overthinking. The pieces on A Pine Tree Shilling’s Worth flow with a loose ramble that weaves between the roots of the now snow-soaked Pioneer Valley.

Lane has been an integral part of the latest wave of psych-folk froth, not to mention the one before it, having collaborated with Elkhorn, Matt Valentine, Meg Baird, Samara Lubelski, Specrte Folk, and Espers over the years. Having this trilogy of releases back in print is a vital link between where Lane has been and where he’s headed. There’s word that another LP is on the way, so perhaps this last reissue will be preamble to the next node of his songwriting. Personally, I’m quite interested in what’s next, though 2019 itself is packed with Lane hallmarks. Besides this reissue, you can hear him on Elkhorn’s Sun Cycle/Elk Jam and Valentine’s Preserves album. If you’re just starting in on his works, I’d recommend beginning with this one and then diving backwards.



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Sore Eros – “Backseat Bop”

Long a favorite around here, Sore Eros is back with a sprawling new LP for Feeding Tube. The band has become a bit more spread out of late, which accounts for the five-year span between their last outing and this eponymous opus. Robert Robinson and co. start things off with the sunrise swells of “Backseat Bop,” a swooning, jubilant slice of pop that starts off slow and serene before exploding into a cascade of pop colors. Sore Eros has often captured a certain homespun psychedelic pop feel that warbles with a tender fragility, and that feeling is on prime display here. The song’s trepidation burns off, though, around the halfway mark, blowing out the walls of the bedroom in exchange for a widescreen, all-hands-on opener to their new album. The LP is out January 10th and features contributions from longtime compatriots Daniel Oxenberg (Supreme Dicks) and Kurt Vile. Good to have the band back in our arms again.




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Hôpital De La Conception feat. Junk Nurse

A head-scratcher of a platter from a triumvirate of labels (Feeding Tube/Cardinal Fuzz/Opaque Dynamo) births the mysterious debut and sole artifact from France’s Hôpital De La Conception. The record is swift to note that it features Junk Nurse, but he seems to be the only avatar piloting this thing through the blooze swamp foot stomp anyhow. The record is ripped and ragged – zeroed in on an Earth’s core riff that drills down to the very kernel of psychic consciousness. There’s a dogged locomotive rhythm to the record, constantly chuggin’ through the smoke curls and feedback flutter. That hypnotic heave anchors “The Electric Rockin’ Chair” to the concrete so that it doesn’t get flayed clean by the storm swirling about it. The Junk Nurse doesn’t relent, plowing this one through a “Sister Ray” / Don Van Vliet vortex caked with noise and cursed to rumble for all days.

The album’s just the one song – flip it and it starts chuggin’ all over again like a lost soul condemned to scream sonic fury for all time. If this is Dante’s soundtrack to scuzz, then when the fury kicks up, the Nurse has you hitting your head on every wrung of the inferno before laying limp on the floor and begging for no more volume. The Hôpital and Junk Nurse hear your plea and turn the thumb down. The riff will rage and you will be inflamed with the body buzz of chooglin’ fury once more. Into the abyss, let it lock down and linger. That’s what I say. Now as for all the mystery, shadows and riddles about who’s behind this opus of guitar offal. I don’t know about you, but the possibility that the only other record to come out on France’s Opaque Dynamo is from GR (aka Gunslingers’ Gregory Raimo) makes this one a very good bet. Who knows who the Nurse serves but if its outta that camp, I’d put my money on it being a necessary pickup.




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Big Blood

Another one from the ranks of Raven’s past, Big Blood has been a bit of a fixture here (and on the old Blogspot) since back in ’08 when The Grove grace my ears. The band’s continued with a rather enviable output over the years. Following their work with Cerberus Shoal and the always underrated Fire On Fire, the couple has kept a stead stream of records and CD-rs coming out on their own Don’t Trust The Ruin, Time-Lag, Blackest Rainbow and Feeding Tube. The latter lands as the home to their latest, The Daughter’s Union. The album was actually recorded prior to their last Feeding Tube outing, Operate Spaceship Earth Properly, which came out last year, but with the band’s dense catalog it’s sometimes hard to keep track. The title likely alludes to the fact that this is the first album that fully features the couple’s daughter Quinnisa, and her contributions, as on its companion from last year, give the band a harder edge.

While the sound is a bit toughened at the edges, that doesn’t mean the band has lost their folk hearts. Transitioning from their early, wooded sound into more Fairport/Josephine Foster territory that gives rock a place at the folk table, they let the new heaviness seem in organically. Colleen and Quinnasa meld their vocals into shaky, aching harmonies while underneath there’s a renewed sense of rhythm and riot. The band tackles some unlikely sources for covers (The Troggs, Silver Apples) and they fit the album together into a psych-soaked vision of ‘70s-indebted rock that’s floating somewhere between the Laurel Valley and the Eastern mountain ranges. The record is another solid endorsement of Big Blood’s prowess – a veteran band that only seems to steep their sound further in their influences, interpolating them and weaving folk and rock into an inviting wicker warmer. If you’re not already coveting each new Big Blood release, it might be time to start.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE (dig) or HERE (LP).

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The Taxidermists

The sophomore LP from Massachusetts duo The Taxidermists takes a different tack than I’d expect from Feeding Tube, but then again, the label is built on not fostering expectations. The Taxidermists trade in a noisy nook of indie that’s got a shelf full of Sonic Youth, Pavement, No Age, and Eric’s Trip – though from a contemporary standpoint they’re landing right in the kinked-tin travels of someone like Omni. The aural twists come quick and, while not frantic, they are certainly anxious. On the contrast the lyrics seem almost nonchalant. They remain unfussed by the din that grows behind them. The band threads noise through their sound, but they’re in search of as many hooks as the next pair. The dynamic gives the record a nature of being at odds with itself. The vocals give way to a need to be liked, while the guitars yell “fuck you for thinking this will be that easy.”

Thorniness aside, the record wraps itself in a sort of classic New England clatter – the kind that would have once been traced back to fountains of shaggy shake a la Fort Apache, where the curdle in their licks would be well appreciated. It’s a pop record for folks who don’t like pop records. They are punks with a heart that heeds noise, noise nerds with a secret diary full of indie pop lyrics. If anything, the true criticism of the record is that it winds up a bit short. They burn bright and tangle hard, but then the record just hits a wall and they skitter off leaving the listener wanting more. Suppose that’s a good thing, but the hurt is real all the same.






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Weeping Bong Band

A second slab tumbles out for the ever-elusive Weeping Bong Band. The NY/Mass collective culls together the talents of Beverley Ketch, PG Six, Anthony Pasquarosa, Clark Griffin and Wednesday Knudsen, who play in varying forms under the umbrella of WBB. For a night in New Salem, Mass all members were on hand at the 1794 Meeting House and the tape was running as they seeped a sonic spell out into the room. The set is hazy, doused in curls of smoke and painted in plant dyes and ash. The tone shifts between the densely wooded hills of the Northeast — haunted and hallowed, suffused with the secrets of generations of spirits bonded to the wood — and the dry desert nights nestled among the barren hills.

There’s a constant sense of moan that winds its way through II giving the set the set a sense of creeping menace and gaunt despair. The guitars cry, not in outright anguish, but in a more personal pain — a quiet devastation that’s born out of secrets too dark to share. Something about the set being recorded in New Salem, gives it a particularly harrowing shamanic vibe, ferreting out old wounds scarred deep from occult rituals buried deep in the wounds of the earth. Appropriately, when vocals do arise, they’re incantations, screeds to the vibrating ethers, rather than tuneful musings. With this second set the band has cemented their status as one of the best nocturne collectives currently goin’. This one’s an essential trip.

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