Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thinking Fellers Union Local #282 - Wormed, by Leonard

Ok, so this isn't Pitchfork, so I'm not going to call TFUL282 "Captain Beefheart on cough syrup" or "Captain Beefheart on glue" or "Captain Beefheart on something I found growing in the basement while listening to lots of Sonic Youth albums."  Jokes aside, there is a profound Beefheart influence, even if it is viewed through the lens of indie rock.  Not math rock or pure indie rock or even full on "experimental," I really am at a loss as to how to label these guys.  "Lo-fi?" But that's such a cop-out term.  At times caught up in a plaintive, tuneful pop piece, the next minute they retreat back into the hole they came out of and launch into a weird dirge similar to early Royal Trux, which is no wonder, seeing as how Wormed, by Leonard, their first album, came out in 1988--the same year as the first eponymous Trux album.  Good year for cool albums that place a high priority on eccentricity?  I don't know, 1988 also produced Daydream Nation, which was basically an overlong snoozefest, so I guess my theory's torn to shreds.

"Narlus Spectre," a "romping" surfy Morricone-esque jam, is the highlight of the album, which incidentally, is over an hour long.  But don't let that make you nervous, it's an enjoyable hour or so filled with hilarous monologues about dogs and the greatest cover of "Superstar"--made famous by the Carpenters and lots of other people--ever recorded (fuck off, Juno fans).  Speaking of Sonic Youth, I should probably mention that these guys owe a huge debt to Thurston et al.  Wormed, by Leonard is recommended for fans of, I don't know, Confusion is Sex and EVOL-era SY.  Also check this out if you've ever found yourself wishing Pavement would have played something a little less accessible or that Sebadoh hadn't been so obsessed with classic rock and weren't so fond of songs about weed and masturbating.