This is a very promising 7" from Sacramento-based
Clairecords. It features two bands from their town, although
Electro Group is the only Sacramento band i have ever heard
of before. In fact, i really enjoyed Electro Groups 2000 release
A New Pacifica, which was a pleasant post-shoegazer
pop album. Here are two new songs from the boys, and they do
The first of their two tracks, Trauma, is a fast-paced
flurry of guitars with charming singing overtop. A good pop
song. The second tune, Mezzoforte, is more experimental.
It is a lightly constructed cascade of piano and echoed guitar
given a very light IDM-ish touch. It is, in fact, a very nice
The second side of this split is given to St. Avalanche, a
band i had never heard of, but who are apparently into the "rock
n roll lifestyle" seeing as on the liner notes they thank "St.
Avalanche, for holding thier alcohol so well and never once
OD-ing". Oh my.
Their first number here, Sun Monk and Thundercarp is
a light twee-ish piece with female vocals. It's pleasant enough.
The second tune, Air Forcing is a glorious mess of a
tune. It's mixed odd too -- organ is prominant in the right
channel, while overdriven guitar whirls away on the left. Drums
and voice appear to be centered, and the drums are played in
a primitive, loud thudding manner (think of the drums in Heroin
by The Velvet Underground). An interesting mix idea, and the
song overall sounds, well, like a 60's garage rock piece gone
slightly awry. I actually like it...
So the music here is pretty nice. One word of warning: stamped
on the record is "45rpm", while the music actually plays at
33 rpm. I first put it on at 45, and i sat there thinking, "When
did Electro Group go twee? Man, they really need to lay off
the speed." Then i slowed it down and everything sounded perfect.
An annoying typo....
I would recommend this release to fans of quirky pop. Since
it's a 7", it should be pretty cheap, and it's a good way to
hear some interesting tunes.