Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Quilt - Quilt (Spooky Town Artifacts, 2009)

Quilt - Disco Music For Trees

If I told you I went to a yard sale this weekend and found this tape stuck way back in the drawer of an old desk, and then I hypothesized that it came from a band named Quilt, some lost folk punk gem from the '60s, you wouldn't have any real reason to disbelieve me. Especially after playing that audio sample. But I'm never lucky enough to find cool shit like that at yard sales. I usually just come home with another wicker basket for my bunnies to eat.

But this Boston trio's debut release totally sounds like that. Like a bunch of friends using shitty equipment to record songs in the big echoey shower in their basement. And it sounds fantastic. It's music that you know was a fucking blast to make.

Nothing on here ever gets too much into a certain genre for you to nail down. It's folky, yeah, and it can rock out at times, but there's also plenty of drone elements. Lots of bang-clanking and jingle-jangling, monotonous drumming, banjos, xylophones, harmonicas, and all sorts of fun shit. But I think one of the key ingredients here are the vocals. All 3 share the microphone and there's hardly a single moment of harmony throughout the whole tape. They frequently sing together, but sometimes it's so dissonant, in the intentional and almost pleasant way. I mean, sometimes they're nice and melodious but when they're not, it's suuuper eerie. And it perfectly matches the occasionally unsettling guitars.

For a debut, this bunch really could have fared a lot worse. Like, a lot. Quilt is a thoroughly solid tape that fits rights in with the weirdo lo-fi experimental folk scene here in Boston. Totally worth picking up for a mere $4 at Spooky Town.

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