INCHES005: New Wax from The Mars Volta, Glasser, Wet Hair, Kissing Cousins (+ MP3s, video, chart)
In the unpredictable wake of music's digital rebirth, vinyl has experienced a modest boom in popularity, seen by many (with delicious irony) as a replacement for the awkward middleman that is the compact disc. INCHES seeks not only to review the output of L.A.'s healthy vinyl community (artists and labels, indie or otherwise), but to pay dap to those who continue to tend the flame, believing that good music deserves much more than a handful of ones and zeros.
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It makes sense that Iowa City duo Wet Hair would find its way to Not Not Fun Records. The Eagle Rock label likes it soulful and sludgy, and Glass Fountain is as prone to hazy, clanging organ-fueled grind as it is ambient expeditions into spacey tape edits. Most often, Shawn Reed's muffled Ian Curtis croon is buttressed by old drum machine loops and a Silver Apples-like appreciation for the weirder intersections of analog electronics and the human voice. And most often, that's a winning mix. Wet Hair's eccentricities thankfully extend to designing album art as well (the group's long mastered the cassette form), and here, those messy collagist tendencies culminate in luxe swirling lavender.
Los Feliz's Glasser, a.k.a. Cameron Mesirow, has a way with flare. It's not just dazzle she's after. Rather, what flourish Mesirow attains -- whether in the electronics that dot her dreamy loop-based folk, or the kaleidoscopic projections that color her live set - she arrives at organically. The Apply EP, released in May (miraculously still available), is no exception. Designed by New York's Tauba Auerbach, the hand-assembled jacket features three layers of silk-screened psychedelia, the sleeve itself spackled with shards of red, while two spinnable transparencies sport blue and yellow designs. The endless iterations of cover colors are well-complimented by clear wax, which of course contains Glasser's exceptional first three songs (not to mention remixes by Lucky Dragons, Tanlines and John Talabot). Download the titular track, then watch the assembly line in action.
Purchase now via the True Panther webstore.