Wednesday, September 15, 2010

John Bellows "Clean Your Clock"

(Moniker) I meant to write about this when it came out in March (though it originally was self-released years ago), but by sleeping on it back then I thought my review was going to be moot. This album is so amazing I was sure that by now Bellows would have a prime spot on Pitchfork fest, a Daytrotter session, and his own hipster rock breakfast cereal. Considering the ascendency of messy but catchy punked-out pop songwriters like the late Jay Reatard, Kurt Vile and the great Nobunny I thought the fact that Bellows crafted unbelievably memorable little tunes would put him in their company. Of course, the fact that he doesn't actually make pop might be why he didn't catch on yet. Though these tunes are as memorable, impressive, and fun as the bouncy ditties by the aforementioned degenerates, Bellows makes absolutely crazy sounding bizzaro music that doesn't recognize genres or boundaries yet somehow all sounds like one cohesive music blob. The baker's dozen songs here range from angry no fo punk flurries to circus music to country to shambling falling-down-stairs acoustic guitar rock to puppet voiced balladry. In fact, his use of freaky voices may be the most mesmerizing thing here: when his high pitched squeak singing is coupled with damaged indie outsider music it becomes true Chipmunk Punk. Speaking of outsider, I think that is the key to loving this. John Bellows makes music that involves some kind of madness and out of control factor but it is obviously being harnessed by someone sane and in control enough to know what he's doing with it. Thus, he creates Guilt Free Outsider Music. No worries about exploiting the illnesses of Hasil, Daniel and Wesley, this guy's OK. He just sounds fucked.

1 comment:

  1. i'm not much for hyperbole, but this is the greatest album ever... xoxox :)