Lo-Fi Good or Bad? Hipster's Of The World Unite: I Found The 4-Track (Feature Article)

Click Read More
To Check It Out!

Hipster's Of The World Unite: I Found The 4-Track

With the current success of artists like Wavves in 2009 (who is no way the creator of the fuzzy guitar noise sound, instead a poster boy as of last year) a bunch of other artists are coming out of the woodwork with similar sounds. I'm still not 100% convinced of the whole noise pop/rock thing. A little blend of shoegaze with a whole lot unbearable. I get it...the good old four track recorded, fuzzed out guitars, and rough vocals. It's an art right? At times unbearable to listen to and almost assaulting to the ear and almost always completely different live. Listen to the Wavves album and then check youtube and you'll be quick to hear a big difference.

Wavves has been at times a controversial artists in 2009 from blowing up live to the actual fact he's grown as popular as he has. I'm not on the Wavves bandwagon just yet. I do enjoy the songs, but not in the noise format found on the album, more so in the live versions where some of the urgency is lost but more of the melancholy peaks through. I've read interviews with Wavves and I can appreciate where he is coming from and have enjoyed to an extent how he has explained the record. The California vibe it gives off is an interesting aspect. For his own good he better get ready to crank out another big hit or get lost in the shuffle of all those waiting to bleed out into a similar arena and saturate the market for the sound. As we have seen the atrocious pop/punk scene do over the years. From good pop/rock, with a little more rock than pop, to the sleek and unbearable pop/pop with a chance of Selena Gomez (a little joke at all the pop "punkish" bands incorporating the Disneyish image as of lately).

It's the rebellion of easy to use and own recording equipment in 2010 where most artists can make a sleek sounding record in their home studio. Instead you grab and dust off the old four track recorded crank the guitar up and let it go. Whatever it sounds like you mix as best as possible and bam you've got energy and enthusiasm, something many claim has been missing from the rock(ish) world for a while. It's exciting, energetic, and imperfect something that made the artists of yesteryear always exciting. Listening to albums from artists like The Misfits, My Bloody Valentine, The Sex Pistols, or countless other acts from twenty or thirty years ago the records might sound a little rough around the edges but that's all part of it.

With that most of these artsits jump on the phrase and notion: "Vinyl's cool again, right?" And release a myriad of vinyl EP's or singles before officially joining the big show with the debut album. In part this is ton to please fans of the sound and understanding we don't want to be part of 2010, although most of the vinyl releases are also shipped over to itunes...just in case you aren't a fan of vinyl you can still rock the fuzz on your iPOD. Just don't get caught by the scene "fuzz" (police) for not rocking that sweet fuzz sound the way it was meant to be heard ala vinyl.

With that I've done a little investigating into the underground of this type of music and possible acts you may actually want to hear. I've turned up a few gems in my search with a fairly promising sound. I've decided to name drop two in this particular feature. I've found both of these acts are doing something similar to an artists like Wavves but the music is at times better and to me on record/album they sound better. Live that may be a different story head to youtube and judge for yourself.

The first up is an artists called Beach Fossils that is slowly building. Beach Fossils music is not necessarily fuzzed out and the guitars on the tracks I've heard are a lot cleaner. His vocals on the other hand are not given the same treatment. The fade in and out and at times it's hard to make out what exactly Dustin Payseur is actually singing about, but the music itself as well as the technique used to record the vocals holds my ear for long enough to appreciate some aspect of the music. I'm interessted to hear the full length and then I'll make the final judgment.

Beach Fossils www.myspace.com/beachfossils

The second act to find praise by way of Sound In The Signals is Woven Bones. Now this is what I'm talking about I can get on board with this band. The guitars are a little fuzzed out it's rough around the edges, but you can actually make out what the singers saying. This is what I think most of the artists in the so called "noise sound" have tried to achieve. I've listened to just about everything this group has to offer and I actually come out enjoying their music and looking forward to a debut album. In my opinion this is the one to check out.

Woven Bones: www.myspace.com/wovenbones

Lastly and probably my favorite of all the lo-fi rockers out these days is Best Coast. Best Coast have a very rough sound on some of the earlier recordings but the recording style has progressed with each release and the last couple releases have really showcased the vocal talents the group has as well as the ability to right a good pop song. The lo-fi aspect to the music almost adds to what makes it sounds good. That's what any group should do work the aspect to where it adds to the music instead of forcing it and making the song sound like a jumbled mess.

Best Coast: www.myspace.com/bestycoasty

So there you have it. I plan to write more Feature Articles in the coming months. The next one is almost polar opposite of this and will focus on the popularity of Electronic music as we move into 2010, the yin and the yang if you will. Thanks for reading it and if you don't agree with it good! I don't want everyone getting along like The Brady Bunch. If you're like me a mixed review of something always makes you want to check it out for yourself.

No comments: