limited edition of 100 clear c20's with typewritten collage insert wrapped in packing tape
What stirs in the psychedelic cottage country of Upper Canada? Well I’m glad you asked.
The newest split release from Hamilton label Perdu features a ten minute symphony by London, ON favourites Lonnie In the Garden and the high quality Torontonian palpitations of Planet Creature. There are such things as bits of underground that you want the whole world to foam at the mouth about, and this hits the mark straight and true.
The opening track of the record is a grand assembly of song bits, live performance, and surreal effects, and the form of the piece compliments the super group format of Lonnie In the Garden themselves. Backed by the most excellent psych stylings of WHOOP-Szo and the scientific precision of Wild Domestic (now Serf Kanata), Lonnie In the Garden has turned a lot of heads in the past few months. The group has been steered since 2010 by the ever-intriguing songwriting of Lynne Craven, and the new single, though sparsely lyrical, witnesses an obvious evolution in the songwriter’s delivery.
It is very hard to chop up a ten-minute opus of arrangement and mixing. With “Untitled” the group has assembled performances into a quilt of moods and eroding atmospheres. Melodies play together like noises from back gardens, swirling over neighbourhood fences, as drum lines take up the banner from the trampoline at the far end of the yard, twisting the music in a new, upsidedown gravitational pull. The textures are many, beautifully recorded, and always complimentary. It’s also got momentum you can taste like bitter adrenaline, and as you reach the half-way mark you can tell that the weirdness is about to pile on thick. Canada’s answer to “Bound 2,” most definitely.
Change the channel, and you’re listening to Planet Creature. The new tracks by these city dwellers feature swift melodies and waves of enthusiastic psych piracy, with a much gentler overall feel than their previous releases.
It’s a good shift: the influence of the Vaselines oozes through the guitar lines, soaring harmonies, and simple, hardcore drum parts. There’s also an alt-country conspiracy at the heart of the goings on, perhaps best evidenced by the dry, earnest vocals of “Oh Cat Stevens.” Compelling lyrics abound. “Maybe We Just Want To Grow Old” brims with ominous metaphors, like a sermon yelled out repeatedly in the snow. The band is in fine form, and the level of organization evident in these new recordings plays off against the naive content of the lyrics.
It’s a very balanced split, which is a strange thing to witness when one band only has a single piece of bricolage on the record and the other has the lion’s share with four pop songs. But that’s the genius of Perdu’s release: the formal differences on the album highlight the quality of performances at work. Here’s hoping that both bands and this very astute label keep up the great work.