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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Review: Wet Hair - Glass Fountain (Not Not Fun, 2009)





Mesmerized slowly filters in with what seems to be a tremolo strained guitar, possibly a synth or just a super delayed and effected voice, but before you know it the musical sleight of hand fades and the familiar organ lines and garage beaten drums take over. Wet Hair picks up right where they left off on their second LP on NNF this year. The vocals, which sound like they are being yelled at you in monotone through a megaphone begin to pierce the funeral psych haze (that's just what I think of when I hear organs) and you can piece together lyrics about being young, being brave as a result of that and something about a familiar place. While the lyrics that you can make out seem to have a sort of nostalgic quality, it's also an uneasy feeling of plunging forward.

They plow forward with their Suicide-esque blending of synth and drum machine, but their songs rarely if ever remain as bleak or minimal as a Suicide number. Something about the deathly droning organs and somber vocals has a certain warmth or at least a comfortable and familiar feel to me. This is probably because there is a certain freedom and openess to Wet Hair's song that you wouldn't find within the self-concious world of Suicide, who had a great inability to fit in with New York's early punk scene.

Enough with the Suicide comparisons, but I will say if part of their allure was their insulated, paranoid world, Wet Hair has their own great allure that they don't seem to be playing for any audience at all. You feel like you're just listening to two old friends jam out more for the thrill of playing than what the end product will be. Fortunately, the end product is pretty fucking great, too. The familiar throwback feel of the lyrics (the bravery of youth, hearing your song on the radio, etc.) and the coziness of the vintage instruments don't bely the fact that this is an extremely progressive project/album, full of moments that I can only describe as funeral psych swing.

One of the best driving albums of the year. Makes me wish I had more access to cars and the countryside.


Stepping Razor

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