Thursday, February 12, 2015
Cassette Review: The Ex-Optimists "Bee Corpse Collector" (Sinkhole Texas, Inc.)
[$5 // Edition of 100 // http://sinkholetexas.bandcamp.com/album/bee-corpse-collector]
The Ex-Optimists are a shot of rock n roll adrenaline that seeps into your pores and you cannot get it out. I'm not sure why they are collecting the tiny corpses of bees, but I can at least be pleased with the fact that their name indicates that they were at least once upon a time optimistic.
While these songs have moments of being somewhat dreamy I also can feel the elements of a song by someone such as Superdrag. It's somewhere between The Casket Lottery and Presents for Sally. There is fuzz and both of the sides have these rather long, instrumental endings full of lots of goodness which is somewhere between something I've heard done by The Benjamins and Cloud Nothings.
Someone such as The Pale (Pacific) can come out as well, if only for the melodies, but then as the pace quickens I can also hear a little bit of that Dramarama song "Anything Anything" come through. Fun Fact: My way to find out what that song is called- because I can only usually typically think of the melody of it and not always the words, rarely the song title or artist- is that I search for Jay Reason because one of his bands has a cover of it. (Discogs to the rescue again!)
The quieter, solemn tones in a song like "Do No Harm", which ends the cassette, bring to mind something as commercial as "Adam's Song" but then also as it unfolds through the course it takes it can also go on to levels of something the likes of Spacehog which is just stellar. In a lot of ways, since I'm already on that era kick anyway, I want to think of this as being like Hum but it doesn't have the same kick in though other pieces remain.
This is melodic rock that has an edge which sounds so cliche as I read it back but as it has gone through a number of different influences it is something beyond what could just be described as The Pale (Pacific) meets one of my favorite bands from the 1990's that most everyone else only knows for one song.
As much as I enjoy the appeal of it sounding like something from the 1990's you'll probably find something more recent to take out of it, one of those college radio bands I don't listen to but is probably just totally ripping off Dandelion or whoever, and so we will agree under different terms. I like music that works and often times that comes with a certain simplicity to it. This does in fact rock but the beauty and genius come from the fact that there is nothing simple about it.