Honestly, sometimes I'm shocked by how well-produced the albums we receive are. “The Equal Ground” is, first and foremost, an indie music blog, and while that term has mutated over the years, it doesn't exactly smack of a high- quality audio experience but I'd go so far as to say our submissions sound as crisp as if they were playing several feet away from you.
So entries like King Everything are really like static breaths of fresh air because they are low-fi and feeling fine. And international, the members record their own bits at home, send it over, and so far have recorded an album every month this year as part of the 12in12x12 project. Faint Young Sun is awesome. Think Daniel Johnston fronting a Beat Happening cover band and the only CDs they brought with them on the way to play their first show were Weezer and Ween records.
How it works is Jim Mendola quickly busts out some lyrics and guitar stuff, sends it to Aaron Balko and Éverton Gabriel Muniz so they can do their bass and drum thing, then they send that back to Mendola so he can mix it and add sounds. I wish my mainstream artists would take a leaf out of these guys' books because this whole album is awesome.
Many of the songs are bombastic bedroom pop numbers. You can hear how hastily they were written on some. Others sound more thoughtful but either way it's never not fun. "My Uncle's Band" is an afterschool bummer tune about having an uncle who steals your music. "The Clothes I Wear" uses pillow-esque percussion while Mendola inquires how to please somebody he loves. "The Song That Summoned God" reminds me heavily of The Unicorns' earliest work, with tape over his bubbling earnest vocals and you can sort of hear the guitar in the background.The music itself is rather quiet, the noise rather loud. The production totally works and makes everything sound cute, but the subject matter can be serious. Can you please just listen? "Summer Buzz" is my favorite song, with awful vocal harmonies, spastic guitar playing and out of tune drums. It's a modern-day Shaggs with a lot more testosterone.
Also, they've graciously included the chords in their songs so all you aspiring musicians, get on it.
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