Over the past 15 years, John Vanderslice has released 10 full-length albums, numerous 7″s, EPs and splits, all the while maintaining an unbridled devotion to analog recording, and in the process, has become one of the most respected songwriters in indie rock. Known for the often-times political lyrical undertones, inventive and experimental take on pop, and for quite frankly being the nicest guy in indie music, John has managed to make this brand of music his life for the last decade and a half.
On May 19, The Native Sound will reissue the record that started it all, John Vanderslice’s debut LP, Mass Suicide Occult Figurines. Originally released by Barsuk Records in the year 2000, the record was celebrated by the then-burgoning MP3 blog culture, and bemoaned by Microsoft following an elaborate hoax in which John claimed the company had threatened legal action over the record’s cornerstone track, “Bill Gates Must Die”. Grounded in the guitars, and traditional rock structure of Vanderslice’s previous band MK Ultra, the album serves as a preface to the quirkier, and more experimental leanings his future recordings would take – “Ambition and the opener “Confusion Boats” in particular, foreshadow what would soon become fully realized by his second LP.
Completely remastered by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering, this reissue marks the first time Mass Suicide Occult Figurines has ever been pressed on vinyl. Manufactured by Quality Record Pressing – undisputedly the best pressing plant in the country – on 200 gram vinyl, the 12″ will be housed in a heavyweight jacket with brand new water-colored art created by Joe Williams, a polylined sleeve, and will include a digital download of the remastered songs. A deluxe edition is also available including expanded art on a hand-numbered and screen-printed wrap around slip cover. This edition will also include a bonus double-sided 7″ flexi disc featuring the new song, “Midnight Blue” and “Long Dark Blues”, a Songs: Ohia cover in tribute to the late Jason Molina.