Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Cassette Review:
Purpur Spytt
"Nitpick & Split"
(Vacant Stare Records)

$7 //
Edition of 50 // //

The somewhat confusing aspect of this cassette is that it looks like it is a split between Purpur Spytt and Nitpick.   I've made the mistake before of thinking splits were full albums (Such as a Foo Fighters / Soundgarden split being an entire album by Foo Fighters called "Soundgarden") but this is rather easy to comprehend once explained.   "Split" is a 10" record from 2016 and "Nitpick" is a 7" record from 2018, both released by the label Le Syndicat Des Scorpions, amongst others, and now the two vinyl EPs have merged together to form one cassette which is great.

Right away the bass line reminds me of the Nirvana song "Sliver".    Though there are drums, vocals and guitars which come into these songs as well I must admit that the bass line is the strongest.   Usually I would think of this as being a band and then say that of the members the bassist is the most talented but this is a one-person show- Charlotte Mermoud- and as such I would assume Charlotte Mermoud is just more skilled with the bass guitar than the instruments, though none of them seem to suffer here.

Part of this is trippy.   It's definitely a ride you need to be willing to take- like a rollercoaster: you're either in or out but once you're in there's no going back.  The vocals can be layered and scattered.   Sometimes it's just talking and the thoughts seem to overlap themselves.   There is a song called "Random Thoughts" and at times that is what the lyrics feel like they are- from the question of "What is reality?" to the notion that "I could break you into pieces if I wanted"- but in the end it makes for a much more unique experience.

Perhaps the most redeeming quality of Purpur Spytt is that there is no clear way to compare this with another artist.   It could be someone who also enjoys the experimental rock sound and just being all over the place (but in a controlled chaos sense) like Deerhoof.   Though at times it also reminds me of twee ala Cars Can Be Blue.   And then for what it's worth at its core I feel like this music has that "alternative rock" feel like something from the grunge era, from Sub Pop in the 1990's (or a similar label-- shout out to K Records)

A lot of music I listen to I can understand why it might not be socially accepted.  I love certain artists under the banner of "noise/drone/ambient" and they're not for everyone.  What I love about Purpur Spytt is that these songs at their heart are rock n roll but sometimes they're presented in an unconventional manner.  So on one hand I feel like people should be able to accept these songs for what they are and love them as much as I do.   On the other hand, if they're not verse/chorus/verse enough for you then that just makes me like them even more.

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