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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Gayng Wars

I had the honourable intentions of writing an extensive, well-measured, intricately detailed piece extolling the virtues of the mix tape. Ok, I’ll admit it; the mix CD. I won’t be held accountable though; instead I’ll try and get away with blaming on a generational disparity. I’m so young I can’t even remember betamax format, I only caught the tail-end of VHS, and every time I press the ‘record’ button on my tapedeck and play it back there’s more static than an EVP recording because I clearly don't know how to use it) If anybody is willing to be my cassette sensei, it would be more than appreciated. I already have a horror sensei. Maybe I could have a troop of senseii to love me if I promised not to end having their much beloved bonsai tree brutally snapped by Cobra Kai because even after TWO films I’m still too much of a pussy to stand up to them (even in front of a girl) without a training session from a decrepit Japanese man first.


After inhaling an entire Easter egg in just under five minutes I’m feeling slow, cumbersome and lazy so instead I’ll pass concise comment on the most recent over-hyped band that has been brought to my attention; Gayngs.*

Considering Gayngs, and their imminent d├ębut album Relayted, appear to have a penchant for quirky misspelling, preconceptions started to form as I began to affiliate them with Wavvvvvvvvvvvvves and their contemporaries, an assortment of substanceless ‘60s surf pop garage rock impersonators (incidentally, for my review of Girls’ Girls, click here).

I admit to being prematurely vitriolic and judgmental. How foolhardy and narrow-minded I was, for Gayngs sound nothing like this. If anything, they’re the musical antithesis.
Open-mindedness- 1, Pee- 0.

Gayngs are producer Ryan Olson, Zack Coulter and Adam Hurlburt from Solid Gold. Citing influences including 10cc, and peddling Godley and Creme covers, they’re purveyors of a dad-rock/R & B crossover. Despite the fact that the gayng are flanked by Justin “Bon Iver” Vernon, the Rosebuds’ Ivan Howard and the saxophonist from Andrew Bird’s band, it’s a musical blend that is as boring as it sounds. Whilst I await the release of their album, even a Stereogum comparison to Primitive Radio Gods isn’t enough to convince me. Here's a clip of "The Gaudy Side of Town". It’s insipid, smooth, lounge music.

If I wanted to listen to “Careless Whisper” I’d borrow my dad’s copy of George Michael’s Greatest Hits or Youtube Jamie Fox and karaoke. Equally, if I wanted to lounge (on a yacht sipping a highball cocktail circa 1982), I’d listen to Duran Duran’s “Rio” and not this. Even the reggae-infused bass and sporadic undulating synths can’t redeem its drabness.

If you DO want a musical treat, I strongly suggest downloading the aforementioned Primitive Radio Gods’ 1996 album Rocket. Alternative dream rock is infused with hip hop beats, flashes of funk, violins, a stream of samples and beautiful piano balladry. Not to mention some hilariously ludicrous lyrics including “I’m gonna spell it out so there ain’t no doubt, ‘cause I’m the one with the other, I’m a bad motherfucker, and my bullet’s gonna find you out”.
The best track on the album is arguably the quintessential ‘90s modern rock single “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in my Hand”- gorgeous, heart-rendingly simple, a spectacular B. B. King sample and apparently features in the Jim Carrey film “The Cable Guy”! I have no idea what bearing that has on the quality of the song. Unless you like “The Cable Guy”. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never seen it. Otherwise, consider it a factoid.

Click here to download Rocket

Tomorrow: a list of reasons why I don’t care that the Libertines have reformed and why people who don’t think you should be allowed to like both Kathleen Hanna AND Courtney Love are spas.**

Which reminds me. Check out the website for Lollapalooza 2010. They’re releasing the line-up with a Wheel of Fortune style guessing game. If you want to play along, click here.

* I will of course reserve my final judgement until their album’s been released and I’ve listened to it. Maybe I’ll even end up having to admit I was wrong. I like doing that, it makes me feel like a bigger person. Though I'm not a very big person generally so I doubt it.

** I jest, I jest!

This has been anything but concise. I don’t think I’m capable of it. I apologise sincerely.

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