INCHES reviews Best Coast, Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group, Lustmord, Bipolar Bear (MP3s)
In the strange wake of music's digital rebirth, vinyl has experienced a modest boom in popularity, seen by many as a replacement for the awkward middleman that is the compact disc. INCHES reviews the output of L.A.'s healthy vinyl community (artists and labels, indie or other), believing that good music deserves much more than a handful of ones and zeros.
There was a moment when Bethany Cosentino turned her back on what we all know as the best coast. After splitting from Eagle Rock-based drone crew Pocahaunted, she split town entirely for a new life in New York City. Lucky for us, she found he way back, because in April, she with the following news via MySpace:
so i am back in california, and i thought what could be more fitting than to record a bunch of songs about summer and the sun and the ocean and being a lazy creep? so this is what i'm doing. [...] my bff bobb bruno has been crazy at work adding drums, beach boys bass lines, and other amazing things. [...] i'm really fucking excited about this and i hope that every11111 likes it and can make out to it on a beach blanket this summer.
And with good reason, the buzz has been growing ever since. This 7-inch, recorded by Fool's Gold/Foreign Born member Lewis Pesacov, serves up two sun-soaked, reverb-loving slices of SoCal surf pop. "When I'm With You" is sugar-sweet, even as it gives a knowing wink to the grungier northern end of the coastline, while "This Is Real" is an easy love story strung over a tune that's easy to love -- swooning vocals, clean guitar and mussed-up rhythm section. Of course, a 45 is too short to soundtrack any make-out session worth its weight in saliva, but a full-length can't be too far off.
Pitch black dub from the devil's jukebox, Lustmord's Transmuted offers two riddim version redo's of dooming tunes from the legendary "dark ambient" pioneer's latest album, Other. It's a thing that has to be heard to be believed, because, well, it actually works. On the A-Side, Jesu/Godflesh main brain Justin K. Broadrick puts drum and bass to "Dub Awakening," spooky graveside acoustics eventually giving way to a bounce that's undeniably of the Jamaican isle -- albeit the part where they still practice Obeah. On the flip, "Er Dub Us," remixed by Lustmord, employs an electronic stutter beat and deep synthesized low end swells to create something that would sound perfectly at home coming off of D-Styles' turntable at The Airliner on a Wednesday night. Terrifying, yes, but awesome as well.
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