Two releases I recently received in the mail which will very likely be in my top 10 for 2005: Velende by Italy’s Jennifer Gentle and Trunk Lunker by Milwaukee’s Aluminium Knot Eye.
JG I have a sentimental attachment to (for obvious reasons… and if said reasons are not obvious to you, then I’m not doing the plug just now). A duo w/ a bevy of hangers-on who fill out their sound in a live setting (touring the US soon, too, apparently), JG are haunted by the ghosts of Syd and Roky and not afraid to show it. Lush psychedelic pop with melodies which ache and soar, friends of mine compare them to Olivia Tremor Control and their ilk, though since I’ve never heard any of that ilk, I’ll stick to the obvious comparisons thrown around in the press kit, since they’re right on the money: the songwriting of Roky and Syd w/ the production techniques of a young (did he ever get old?) Joe Meek. Way more accessible than previous efforts, this time the gamble pays off.
I actually used to write to AKE a few years back. They contacted me after reading an article I wrote on the scene in Milwaukee for Perfect Sound Forever, we wrote back and forth, they promised a cassette or two and then the correspondence dropped off. Such is life. They had/have a swell web site with a list of “influences” I took to meaning only one thing: a roving band of record collectors. Joe Carducci held the belief that such people should not form bands (or at least not be allowed on SST). He held a staunch policy that such parasitic creatures do not make worthy music. Despite my initial trepidation that AKE would be an audio garbage dump of obviously hip influences driven through a blender and spat out like a name-dropping mess, such fears were for naught. This is a really fine album. Imagine, if you will, a no-fi concoction which brings together the sounds of early Mike Rep and the Quotas, Vertical Slit, early Cramps, Crime, Chrome and the Screamers and you’ll be nearly hitting the region known as Aluminium Knot Eye. Better still, they never sound like they’re trying too hard. I didn’t think “they” made rock albums as good as this anymore, and I fear that their presence on the relatively low-profile Trickknee label means this will be passed on by far more people than it should. Had it gotten the In The Red stamp of approval (literally, that is: though I bet Mr. Hardy digs this, too), you’d be hearing way more about it. Maybe you’ll be hearing a lot more about this anyway. It really is a good ‘un.