Friday, June 12, 2015
Cassette Review: Newt Grundy "Newt Grundy" (5cm Recordings)
[$5 // Edition of 25 // https://5cmrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/newt-grundy]
The idea behind someone- anyone- calling themselves "Newt" is only going to bring up notions of Newt Gingrich to me, even if it is a sort of lizard. Coupled with the last name "Grundy" it just makes me think of this as the political guy more than anything else, though "Grundy" on the whole makes me think of Solomon Grundy. If I was Conan O'Brien or had the technology to figure out what a baby might look like between the two... Yeah, I still probably wouldn't do it, but they do kind of resemble each other, don't they? (I also keep mixing up the names of Solomon Grundy and Solomon Crowe, but that's neither here nor there)
Spoken word type of poetry begins things on this cassette and then we find some laser synth swirls which are indeed trippy. This brings up sonar beeping with swirls and it has turned to instrumental. With lightsaber waves vocal harmonies and then whirrs with guitars strummed as the spoken words return. Sonar beeps come back again as well and then there is some static. Big whirrs lead to a carousel feel and ringing comes out with space lasers. There is really no genre to put this music in quite yet, but if nothing else it is worth noting that it feels like borderine hip-hop because at times I think it could go into Eminem's "Lose Yourself" beats.
Side B begins with the spoken words followed by a loud hum, dramatic tones and a wizard power sound that is also close to being something from Transformers. Piano pieces are up next. It's like some kind of classic cartoon score. An acoustic guitar plus singing transitions into an acoustic guitar and alien vocals. Alien whirrs, Pong sounds and Doctor Who take us into dramatic tone loops like that one hip-hop song that became the anthem of that football team-- I believe the colors were black and yellow. It ends on vocals only as someone is talking about being meaner than a junk yard dog and, well, Junk Yard Dog is a professional wrestler so that kind of goes with what I said first.
I'm not sure how to properly explain how I feel about this cassette by Newt Grundy. The easiest way to put it is to simply say that I feel like this music is a shell. It is not the substance, but it is that which lives on the cusp of the substance, never truly committing to a specific sound but rather tip-toing across them all. But, to me, that somehow seems like it isn't quite as complimentary as it should be since something like an egg shell, for instance, you disgard. This isn't scraps or meant to be disgarded though-- it is top notch and just some overall innovative music.
On the other hand, I also like to imagine this as being a new form of what The Beats would have been doing decades ago only with a modern twist. I don't know what you would call it exactly because I might not have even called "The Beats" as such, but if this is going to be a new movement (And I hope that it is) it would have to somehow combine the spoken word mixed with hip hop and psychedelic, so basically a spoken-hiphop-psych and, yeah, I have no ideas. I just know that this is good and it gets better every time that I listen to it.