Saturday, April 16, 2011

Beach Fossils & Wild Nothing - Gruesome Flowers: A Tribute to The Wake review

I'll just come out and say it.  I have never heard a song by 80s band The Wake in my life.  Regardless, this Record Store Day sees Captured Tracks labelmates Wild Nothing and Beach Fossils release a split 7" in which they cover two supposed classics from the influential Scottish post-punk band.

Perpetually sleepy Brooklynites Beach Fossils tackle the song "Plastic Flowers".  It is a jangly guitar driven tune that sounds as if you were listening to it through the telephone.  it is all very dreamy, which is not much of a stretch for Beach Fossils and they don't do much to deviate from the original version.  The song is charming enough, however once it gets past the two minute mark it starts becoming a little stale.  It simply fails to go anywhere, and doesn't deliver anything new in the latter half of the four minute run time.  Overall, "Plastic Flowers" is a blissful little lo-fi number that tends to overstay its welcome.  Listening to the same riff and lyrics over and over again is about as entertaining as watching someone jog in place while waiting to cross the street in order to keep their heart rate up.

One-man band Wild Nothing covers "Gruesome Castle", and it is about as riveting as sitting through a lecture on statistical analysis.  Jack Tatum's monotone voice wades through the reverb soaked arrangement in such a listless fashion that the song seems almost an afterthought to the idea of covering such a beloved piece of pop music nostalgia.  Don't get me wrong, there was a lot to like on Wild Nothing's debut album, but this cover is just boring.  While it retains the day-dreamy quality that has become Wild Nothing's signature, it lacks any sort of hook to engage the listener, although I guess that is partly the fault of the source material.

In summation, this 7" split release is interesting because, while it is a perfectly justifiable purchase, it really just made me want to go and check out The Wake.

Wild Nothing - Gruesome Castle by sleeptalkr

Beach Fossils & Wild Nothing Gruesome Flowers: A Tribute to The Wake

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