Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Navigator - Bad Children (Magic Goat, 2009)

Navigator - Promised Land

Whether as WYLD WYZRDZ, Navigator, or anything else, Braden McKenna always has some tricks up his sleeves. You never know what this guy's gonna do next. He's done the looped drone thing, he's paid homage to a brilliant Japanese director, and now he's gone and made the most lo-fi Navigator record yet with Bad Children. And you'll never guess who drums on a bunch of tracks. Garrick Biggs of Stag Hare. Don't even pretend like you saw that one coming.

McKenna's newest release is one of the most blown out affairs I've heard him produce. But like many other things out there at the moment, the foundation upon which the fuzz is laid is made of super catchy folk pop songs. And with McKenna's voice going to the extreme, it reminds me quite a bit of O'Death, if they decided to let go their desire of fidelity. Bad Children has a special old-timey feel to it, like it came straight from The Dust Bowl, especially with it's semi-religious themes. Throw in some classic '50s/'60s melodies and you got yourself a very unique record.

There's something special about the quality of recording on this album, too. It's not your average blown out lo-fi. No, it actually sounds like they recorded the songs properly but you're listening to it on the pair of headphones that came with your '92 Walkman. There are hints of clarity that make me question just how the fuck they recorded this.

Navigator has literally never released a bad record. This is the third and arguably best. Here's the clincher: it's free. You can download it right here. It will get a physical release in a few months, though. And trust me. This is one you'll want to grab when it gets printed up.

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