Live blog – “Crash”

Picking up from my last post, here’s my live-blog of listening to Crash after 13+ years of not listening to it.

So Much To Say – Been a minute. This feels good. Cool riff, love the horn lines.

Two Step – Classic. I’m realizing for the first time how different the production is from UTTAD. The hard-panned guitars are gone, the layers of morphing pads and sustaining violin and whatnot are gone. This sounds more like a big, clean, natural-sounding 70s record, but hi-fi. It’s probably a better sound for the band, though the immersive murkiness of UTTAD works in places. Fade out is a bummer, write an
ending you fools!

Crash Into Me – Unfortunately, this has not aged well. The song and recording are fine, but it’s not escaping its own overplayed-ness to my ears. My poor mom had to overhear me play this so many times :( :(

Too Much – Wow, and we’re jamming again, “Crash” really killed the energy.

41 – Dual electric guitars! Cool new atmosphere. That sax ostinato does it for me. It’s wild how much of this I hear in V for Voice, from the writing to the playing to the mix, which was not on my radar at all. Just that formative, I suppose. I was completely chasing this album in the V for Voice production and had zero idea that’s what I was doing.

Say Goodbye – Dave is such a cheeseball here but it’s a little charming. A little.

Drive In Drive Out – Huge “start of side 2” energy. This rips. That is bad shit, indeed.

Let You Down – This is an interlude, not a song, and it ought to have been cut in half. The parts are nice enough.

Lie In Our Graves – Ah man, I’d forgotten about this one completely. I hope it holds up. < … > It mostly does! Solos in live versions are better, but this studio version is pretty weird at least.

Cry Freedom – Great production, OK song. Needs a more intense vocal performance to gel, maybe.

Tripping Billies – Bold move to bury this in the tracklist! I forgot (or never realized?) how incredibly horny this album is. Holds up.

Proudest Monkey – Probably best to consider this a super-indulgent b-side or bonus track, ought to have been hidden. Goes hilariously hard on its central lyrical conceit. For fans only.

Cory’s response:

“Proudest Monkey” – Sooooooooo dorky! SO dorky.

This whole album is chafing itself raw against the back of an acoustic guitar with only tie-dye pajama pants as a buffer. Even the nonsexual lyrics sound bonery!

Two-Step and #41 are both pretty rad.

Yes, so even though yr songs don’t sound like DMB, I think there are certain formative bands that creep into our songs no matter what because they have defined what a song is for us (and by extension what it is to write a song). And something your songs (and esp h&s songs) often have in common with DMB are their very thoughtful ambitious arrangements and transitions and finishing touches. They make the difference between a pretty good song and a terrific song, just the right chord or an unexpected harmony or whatever that creates a TON of depth very deftly. Rich and interesting without ever being ostentatious.

For me it’s probably early Weezer records / Nirvana / Green Day. I can get as folky or ambient or weird as I want, but it all comes down to strong melodies and simple song structure.