I was all ready to call this a supergroup until the press release specifically told me not to. Still though, with Mike Watt, Nels Cline and Greg Saunier all on board (so that’s representatives of Minutemen, The Stooges, Wilco, Deerhoof…), this group is inarguably quite something. This debut album from Big Walnuts Yonder is a spontaneously-combusted set of high-energy funky-skronky art-rock super-pop. Hard to describe, but a joy to hear! Out on Sargent House.
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Records Make You Laugh Out Loud Episode 1
This is as comical as watching an animal tumble off a worktop. It's a collaboration between Mike Watt (Minutemen), Nels Cline (Wilco), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos) and is a super splurge of jittery jumpy avant rock that veers around the room like a jumping jack. If it were closest to any of the groups mentioned I'd say take Deerhoof as your blueprint but then add a million. It starts out relatively calm, 'All Against All' and 'Sponge Bath' certainly aren't the fastest thing since a burst balloon but do contain moments of tuneful skronk that recalls both the Minutemen and Shudder to Think - a slightly eerie and sinister music in which guitars can get well and truly tangled. The Zappa-esque lunacy of 'Flare Star Phantom' starts the records ride into insanity - the guitars tangle around each other in a vaguely Beefheartian manner and the vocals recall a punk rock Van Vliet especially on 'Raise the Drawbridge'. The record indeed does sound like a sum of it's parts with Watt's distinctive bass underpinning all manner of guitar sonics.
The record is best when it's off the scale as on the lunatic 'Rapid Driver Moon Inhaler' kind of a musical answer to the time Itchy tied Scratchy's tongue to the moon...at 78rpm. The guitars squeak and squawl and you can't keep your ears off it. I forgot people made music like this. The fact that some of the record is relatively straightforward makes these bits even more inexplicably brilliant.
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