Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Debts - Fools (Unread, 2011)

The Debts – Fools
Unread 2011

The Debts consist of Dane Sybrant and Kevin Shaw and this tape was recorded in Omaha, Nebraska. "Of False Profits" begins with some lo-fi strumming on an acoustic guitar and some spoken-word-ish style lyrics but still in a singing voice. The lyrics are pretty grim and dark about metaphoric wrists being slit with a metaphoric razor (a guitar pick) and metaphorically hanging oneself with guitar strings…There’s a really bassy floor tom beating and a shaker in unison with the melody in the lyrics and guitar. "The Riverside" starts off a little more upbeat and groovier on the acoustic guitar strumming away. The lyrics continue in their horrific nature, “finding bodies by the riverside.” River’s Edge anyone? The floor tom and this time some bells enter in the chorus beating and shaking away. "Sermons and Serpents" begins with some rhythmic and groovy acoustic guitar strumming. More floor tom in the mix, seeming to be a pretty clutch percussion instrument for the tape. "Mama" starts off with the floor tom and just the sung lyrics, which I really like. There’s then some overdubbing and harmonies in the vocals. It’s the shortest song on the side, but its probably my favorite up to now.

The vocals on "Audrey" have a strange kind of resonance, maybe from the room the recording took place in. There is also some subtle bass-y rumbling in the background, it sounds like wind being recorded. At the beginning of "Bring Down the Hawks" there is some microphone movement/noise and the floor tom is this time somewhat distorted, along with the acoustic guitar. The song cuts short, transitioning into some found sound territory of a male speaking in a southern accent threatening another man and his farm. There is then some bizarre, suspenseful keyboards and bass that could have come from the television or an old movie. This also then cuts short, and what could be a violin or fiddle fades into "Talking Digital Blues." There’s some dripping water and chit-chat in the background. The song continues with some more acoustic work and lyrics singing, critiquing the digital age. The song ends with the low humming/buzzing of some machine until someone says, “Can you, like, shut that off?” That gave me a laugh.

Cassette for purchase:

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