There’s no better news than hearing that psych-pop wellspring Elephant 6 is revving the engines back up once again. With the announcement of an in-house reissue of The Gerbils’ 1998 debut, Are You Sleepy, the label sets the wheels in motion to get more than a few missing LPs back on the shelves. The original version of the band’s debut was widely available on CD, but only issued in a scant run of vinyl from the UK label Earworm Records, with an alternate cover. It’s quite likely that this missed the shelves of hundreds of fans and now the label’s back to right the wrongs. The Gerbils included members Scott Spillane and Jeremy Barnes, both of whom would go on to find their way into the ranks of Neutral Milk Hotel.
The record is on the scrappier end of the E6 catalog, still firmly rooted in the 60’s spun pop leanings but also shot through with fuzz, crackle, and hiss —letting its four-track treads shine through in the mix. The band would go on to refine their sound with 2001’s The Battle of Electricity which bolstered their buzz with a bit of concept rock. Aside from this news, which is great on its own, the label hints that a few more offerings and even some new stuff might be on the way. Or, in their own words, “In 2019, the slumber is over as the E6 label imprint relaunches with a series of reissues, new albums, and some first-time-ever-released-to-the-public releases from the deep archives.” Get excited!
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