East River Pipe is the lo-fi recording project of singer-songwriter Fred Cornog. Originally released in 1999, 'The Gasoline Age' is a road trip record from an artist you'd usually call bedroom pop, for all his disregard for production values. It's being reissued by Merge to celebrate its twenty-fifth birthday, along with ten unreleased tracks from different times in Cornog's career.
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- The Gasoline Age by East River Pipe
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Here is a worthy re-issue. East River Pipe (aka the marvellously monikered FM Cornog) released a series of albums in the 1990’s initially on Sarah Records before disappearing completely. Cornog specialises in a languid style of ‘classic’ songwriting that sits somewhere in the big hole between Spiritualized and the Go-Betweens. He has that ‘classic’ sound that gives the impression that he’s listened to lots of prime-era Bob Dylan, the Band and Creedence Clearwater Revival in his time.
Cornog’s home recorded mid-fi sound allowed him to win the ears by many that would normally balk at such ‘trad’ influences. I’m not sure if ‘The Gasoline Age’ is Cornog’s best album but it is certainly very enjoyable. Its full of his understanded pop hooks ‘Cyber Car’ is a classic example of what is good about his oevre. Its wonky dreamy repetitive Americana which is unnervingly catchy and has a yearning quality which stays with you long after the track has faded. He also has pop nous, ‘Wholesale Lies’ is skyscrapingly tuneful and will definitely appeal to fans of Magnetic Fields who would like a bit of strummy guitar amongst their synths. They have that 80's streamline synth melancholy too...‘Party Drive’ is not that far away from Double’s ‘Captain of My Heart’, see what I’m saying?
Great druggy home made pop that will appeal to fans of everyone from Sparklehorse to Bruce Springsteen, Brian Jonestown Massacre to Phil Spector. Comes with download with 9 bonus tracks.
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