San Francisco based rock band How Words Sound recorded their debut EP Floor Sitter off the cuff. As the story goes native Texan Blaine Billingsley had recently moved to San Francisco. After years of studying classical music in college Billingsley was suddenly introduced to bands like Super Furry Animals, Os Mutantes, Stephen Malkmus, Ty Segall and also got reacquainted with the hokey ‘90s alternative rock band The Presidents of the United States of America.
When an old college friend told Billingsley that he would be passing through town, Billingsley booked some studio time and assembled some musicians with the intent being to record some songs in tribute to The Presidents of the United States of America. The friend never ended up showing up but Billingsley forged ahead with his crew of Max Schwartz, Jason Countryman, Brandon Martinez and Ian Pellicci.
Floor Sitter opens with the protracted “Levity Will Have Gotten Us Through Everything” which seems already a nod to the EP’s mawkish inspiration. Musically it’s acoustic low-fi grunge-pop; the rhythms are catchy and there is a nice addition of restrained synthesizers. “Never Forget Your Beginner's Spirit” is a long and rumbling rocker with a post rock jam session in the middle. The title track comes closest to the power chord chugging of The Presidents of the United States of America although its structure seems a bit forced as it begins in that vein of happy pop and then droops down to wallow in an unrequired sadness only to perk up again near the end.
I think Floor Sitter is a very good record, unfortunately though there is nothing remarkable about it, nothing to set it apart from all the other very good records by musicians both well known and relatively unknown. It then simply comes down to a problem of a market that is simply oversaturated by so much sameness. And more and more lately albums of this sort seem to show up like flowers delivered to a beloved hospital patient. At first there is feeling of being overcome by such thoughtfulness, though after a time one becomes sedate and utters “Just put it over there with the others.” But perhaps that doesn’t matter to How Words Sound. Floor Sitter’s existence may suffice its makers as a record of a personal epoch. “Don't take these days away from me” Billingsley repeats on the albums closer “Slower Haight,” a play on words to the San Fran neighborhood he spent his early 20’s living in. Well now that those days are on record, nobody can.
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