11 December 2013

Tom Waits For No Man - 2013 - Fun With String

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

Just to get this off my chest, change the name!!!  For the love of God, change the name!!!  I mean, I dig Tom Waits, but I wouldn't say he ever went psych rock and the pun brings me pain.  I almost didn't give this a listen because of it, but fortunately I did and there's some notable grooviness to be had here.  Back when I was a young buck right around the turn of the millennium, I stumbled into a number of those hardwood floor-shakin', bad-part-of-town house parties which had the hardcore punks wailing until the police showed up (admittedly for me a few times by way the primordial Glaze of Cathexis, Rocket Number Nine - not that we were hardcore punks).  I was always wishing for a garage rock rave up.  Before my partying time was done, the seas were shifting; I especially remember catching the early Black Lips at a few Atlanta shindigs.  Anyway, the somewhat unfortunately named Tom Waits For No Man would have been very welcome to that early 20-something Dr. Schluss.  Plowing with the essence of the 60's underground teens, you'll dig into some of the sounds here.

This stuff 60-70% instrumental, which is a touch of a downer as a properly unhinged vocalist would add quite a bit of sonic value.  But we're going to deal with what we've got, and plug it into the slot of soundtracking for a more deranged take on the psychedelic bro love-hate of Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in "The Trip."  I guess these folks have something like on their mind as the tracks titles delve straight into the darker side of B-movieism with "Evil Dead," "Doom Patrol," and "Death Rides a Horse" making their names known.  The first half of the album throws some reverb-drenched, yet desert fried early morning tunes our way - sort of like if Brightback Morning Light got dosed with the brown acid.  With "Beauty in Garbage," we start to get some vocal warbling with some wasted Velvet Underground by way of Galaxie 500 intonations.  "Ohm" finally hits the garage rock sweet spot and may be the grooviest, Pebbles-ready tune here.  It's too entertainingly low-fi and warped for "Nuggets."  "Police Chase" goes back to the (mostly) instrumental, but comes on full blast with a brain-melting fuzz fest.

I sort of feel like we may be getting a few iterations of a band here (not that I have any evidence for or against that).  The building blocks for extreme awesomeness are nonetheless present on this offering.  I guess my "working-on-middle-age" advice would be to ditch the name and recruit a singer on the cusp of Roky Erickson to shout to the stars.  Not that I actually know what I'm talking about or anything.  Still, this may very well be a ground floor that you'll want to get in on.

Vibe in here:
Tom Waits For No Man - 2013 - Fun With String

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