Wednesday, May 25, 2011

RADIATOR REVIEWS: Scribbler - Backitus

Backitus was my introduction to the band known as Scribbler, in 2008 I grabbed the album's 14 tracks off Brain Mountain's home computer and upon listening to the opening track "Aributus" i was a fan. Power grunge guitar chords give this album a real consistent and satisfying crunch. By the sound of it, Scribbler have taken the lessons of 90's independent rock to heart. Instead of focusing on any one particular aspect of the music, Scribbler put everything they had into covering all the bases here. Indeed the opening punch of Aributus reveal a full band, in full force, songwriting, instrumentation, attitude and imagery combine all at once to create a damn good opening punch and throughout Backitus the band reiterate this intesity by remaining consistent. As apposed to their earlier releases [see Scannopapia], which only has 1 full song and treads in some very difficult listening and avant-noise territory, Backitus is a true rock & roll record. Recorded in a blanket "fjort", and with just enough distortion and slop to rock out to while not overusing the lo-fi aesthetic as a stylistic wall for shitty songs to hide behind. Taken away from the songs themselves are several moments of beautifully and minimally composed rock music (Sixth Side Road, A Liar's Cadence). These interludes as recorded are warm to the ears and help to break things up a bit between the more straightforward build-and-release song structures. At 2:15 "Gravel Tastes like Rust Smells" achieves Post-Rock status without getting boring, a slight against a genre that often over-indulges itself with track-length and repetition. The title track fakes it like a song a first but quickly delves into a screaming competition between several Craig Currie's. "Prussian National Anthem" sounds like some wordless Neutral Milk Hotel Stomp, a trippy parade through moscow complete with elephants, gallantry and blind nationalism. Scribbler attempt to describe their own genre with the track "Spook House", maybe not fully achieving the sound they set out to, but laying down a solid framework nonetheless. But it's the track "Second Piss" where scribbler go for history. Epic doesn't even begin to describe the clusterfucking-synth ending of that track, and Currie's vocal delivery has matured for it as well. Drummer Franc Lopes takes the role of frontman for the punk sneering "Negative Band Fund", where he proudly proclaims the bands ethos "Back stage we're stealing your shit" and in reality they were, probably from the bands that nobody will remember and nobody cares about. Hey when your this poor and good at music simultaneously you gotta do some grimey things, probably while intoxicated. By the track "Cyan", a hilarious swing at the 12 bar blues, Currie's voice is breaking and coarse from the sheer volume of his delivery throughout the entire album. The final track "Clouds" is one last epic push over the top of into Rock Music History (it's the freaking Saxophone solo that does it). Even if no one besides myself ever acknowledges these guys, they have cemented their place in the pantheon of bands as an important if not innovative rock band. Something way too many bands frequently played on the radio have tried so hard and failed at. 2011 saw this album get the remaster treatment it so rightfully deserves (courtesy of engineer and radiate Sir Thomas Lopes). Next thing this puppy deserves is a complete vinyl reissue. You think i am exaggerating? oh you haven't heard the remastered album. 9

listen here

reviewed by Mohamed El-Darwish RADIATOR COLLECTIVE 2011

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