Welcome to 21st Century…
I was going to begin this with my disapproval with the bitchification of society. But some may have found that offensive, given that it seems anything anyone does or says is cause for community groups, and individuals, to take offense. I grew up in a time when no awards were given simply for participating in an event, either you win or you lose. There’s no in-between. If I didn’t like the way something was I’d voice my opinion or disapproval. In this day and age, you have to be aware of the feelings of others. If they’re intimidated by you, apparently that’s your fault. I’m not going to debate that point because, again, society today is what it is. I’m not certain if at this point it’s a good idea to get into anything but it is Friday and I deserve a Roll Out, good, bad or otherwise. The end of the year is upon us and on this day December 1st, 2017 there isn’t a wide array of music releases dropping this month unless you’re battling with getting that new U2 album. Nope, no thanks. So frustrations aside, let us begin.
There’s a band from NY called Operator Music Band (New Professor Music) that released a new E.P. today entitled Coördination. I find myself looking for an easy escape, simple to pigeonhole a band that on the surface sounds like just about any other NYC band playing the downtown circuit. The opening, “Realistic Saturation” doesn’t do much to keep me from tossing this one by the wayside. Jangly guitars, a one-two punch in its percussive beat, and a simple twee synth-pop vibe heading through it from beginning to end. Vocalist Dara Hirsch shifts between speaking and singing, and I obviously prefer the former, which gives the song a much more realistic emphasis on the sound they’re searching for. But just when you think the tone is set here, all is not lost. When a group opts for simplicity, it sometimes beneficial like on “Sunk” where a rudimentary keyboard and beat drives this song while co-vocalist Jared Hiller takes the same approach finding that beat with every note he sings, as Hirsch drops in alongside his. Ok, now we’re getting somewhere. “Communicator 4” is sparse, with Hirsch taking the lead once again on this track where the sounds of experimentation come through. No need for filler, keep that bassline driving it, while her wistful vocals hypnotize, and the dissonance in her voice isn’t missed with the overdub. They volley back and forth with the vocal interplay on “Alarmed,” which is a bit more Devo-esque in delivery in a robotic world but it’s the closing “Moto Komplete” that urges me on. That free-flowing beat that drives the track is mind-numbing, while Hiller whispered lyricism. While I began Coördination with hesitation, things didn’t turn out so bad. The only problem I have with the recordings is I wish it could have been longer to see where the group landed since I knew where they were heading. Operator Music Band was definitely worth my time and it could be yours.
And then just when you don’t expect to do anything else in one day, Something else happens and your hand is forced to pull the strings like Bela Lugosi.
This is what happened. I get this Anonymous Inc. release that makes me raise my eyebrows and wonder, “Dafuq?” This is actually the first part of a reissue (I think) of recordings done by brothers David & Ceschi Ramos, musicians who’ve stepped out on their own through the years. Their own press states this project began as a grunge band, but with the changing cultures of music genres, things changed. Beta 1 (Fake Four Inc.) showcases the expansiveness Anonymous Inc. had for a number of genres. While the release is brief, with 3 of the 7 tracks under the minute mark, that’s no reason they should be ignored. The opening “Fast Drivers” might be an anomaly with elements of jazz floating through it but simply a beautiful composition with horns engulfing it at a frenetic pace. The hateful ‘indie rock’ tag permeates tracks like “Morning Cartoons” and the fucking catchy “Licorice,” which I can’t help but play over and over again. Guitars swirl all around it and those horns are pretty sublime until that crescendo explodes…somewhat. Then, of course, there’s “Remember” which is something you may think fell out of the Fania catalog but these guys put their own spin on Salsa in less than a minute. Yeah, Beta 1 is pretty insane, pulling from so many different genres but it’s also well stitched together. Listen to “Reading Brecht & Feast” and you’ll get what I’m talking about here. You’ll be hard-pressed not to think, “Dope!”