Saturday, January 12, 2013

Stand Alone Complex-Antidisestablishmentsatanism EP (2012)

Damon Marcus' third release as Stand Alone Complex finds him tightening his focus sonically, and developing within this narrowed groove. His September LP, Broken Sleep in a Minor Key, was a sprawling take on several different moods. Here, the mood is one, and that is the feeling of watching traffic alone at midnight, dead drunk, out the window of your bedsit at the top of a twenty-story high rise.

On this EP, Marcus sounds like an acoustic, solo version of Leatherface. If you don't understand that analogy, I can't help you; if you do, you'll probably dig this EP. All these songs rely on the interplay between Marcus' plaintive, wistful, slightly high voice and rapidly strummed acoustic guitar. The recording is crude-as-dirt 4 track, which is the best way to capture this sort of sound. "Ictus," the fastest song here, uses a cool trick to multitrack(?) Marcus' voice so it sounds like he's cranked out of his mind on speed and tripping over his own words. The best song here is "Channeling": Marcus slows the pace down enough that you can follow his narrative a bit. It's a heartsick tune (as far as I can tell) set to slow, bittersweet guitar. It's sentimental in the right way (watch the movie "Say Anything" to understand what I mean by that, as an example of sentimental in the wrong way). On "Hell is Other People," Marcus is channeling early Mountain Goats, musically-the riff coulda been lifted straight from Nothing for Juice.

There's a noisy surprise towards the end, but I'll save that treat for your ears, dear reader. To conclude, you'll enjoy this if you associate January with cold-induced depression and drinking alone, and need a good soundtrack for said state/activity.

Hang out with Stand Alone Complex here.

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