New Ypsi Sounds:
Ben Collins comes to life in the cold. He starts his year’s off right.
The Lightning Love guitarist has consistently unveiled his solo recordings right in the dead of winter. Ghost Stories came online right at the start of 2010, a batch of songs doubling as a thesis project for his studies in U-M school of music, experimenting and exploring geography and history through folk music. Feel Good Garden started the year in the first frosty days of 2011, a pair of electrified, rockier, somewhat spookier songs that hinted at the potential held for an grad in audio engineering ready to prove himself with a full, fleshed out band.
But then Lightning Love got real busy, released an EP and an LP (sequentially, in less than nine months) and toured. Plus, he’s still helping out on that as-yet-still-forthcoming Starling Electric LP.
Two years on from Gardens hints we hear the complete, proper Collins solo statement. These are crunchier, more cathartic slays of heavily fuzzed guitar, under hazily heaved vocals, sometimes-stonecold, sometimes softhearted. Much more his Teenage Fanclub/Dinosaur Jr-leaning side rather than, say, his previous recordings’ flare of an Elliott Smithy/Cass McCombsian gloominess. Much more Friday night rock rather than Sunday afternoon folk.
Collins doesn’t waste any time in distinguishing this from any of his previous ties to projects like, say, the pop of Lightning Love, the neo-country-croon of The Hounds Below or the paisley-psyche-rock of Starling Electric. He’s digging around in the darker corners of 90’s dream pop haunt-auteurs like Mark Linkous or maybe Jeff Buckley’s evocative heart-wringing folk-pop (if it were prickled and showered with a caustic yet dazzling storm of reverb and eerie transistor feedback).
This is presumably just the start, though. However heavy or contemplative he sounds on the albums standout/closer, “…could I just ask for one more time…” You’ve got more time, Ben. You’re not getting (that) old yet. With Pale Blue Glow, the perennial side-man sets up front and center, singing and strumming in his own (effected/affected) voice.
More sounds/info: http://ghoststori.es/album/pale-blue-glow
Also fresh-out this week – The Ferdy Mayne’s newest chapter / incarnation / psychedelic-poeticized elucidation ~ Brothers and Sisters is an EP that teasingly streamed out via a pair of singles six months ago. The fruition of Ferdy’s new psyche-fired works from Backseat Studios went up online as the new year dawned.
Now, behold – the fuller, warmer, realization of a song that’s entranced me since my ears first heard it three years ago – “Dresses,” – now edified with a rock-kick clatter, sweetened with syrupy-surf toned cascades and riled with surging crescendos.
There’s ferocity on these tracks just barely tamed into gracefulness, as though the four players are as keyed-up to cut into their parts as I am to finally hear the fruition of Ferdy as a full rock outfit.
But just like Collins, this is merely a jumping-off point for the group (Shane Firek on vocals/guitar, Nick Zomparelli on bass and vocals, Brad Hale on lead guitar and vocals and Josh Arutoff on drums). Firek’s artfully wobbly, avant-garde carnival-barking folk busker style seems like it could adaptively flow through, atop, or against various styles, sounds and arrangements and this batch of songs leans towards a somewhat coherent rock or psyche-rock aesthetic, yet hints at a punk-ish restlessness to lumberjack their way through a song, yet distinguished with an experimental bent in tone and structure, girded by those tumbling rhythms and fibrous guitars, suggesting they could reel off the rails, maybe down the line, heady post-rock-ist trip.
With Ferdy and its inherent elements (i.e., it’s players), one must resign to say: who knows…!?! Until the next song.
Saturday 26 January 2013
@ Mr. Mike’s– 1425 Ecorse Rd.
More sounds/info: http://theferdymayne.bandcamp.com/album/brothers-and-sisters