Distractions, “Lost Horse” tape

November 30, 2011
By Paul Simpson

I’m not sure what the deal is, but for whatever reason I just really want to listen to indie rock right now. I have all these promos of noise and drone tapes and CDs and I don’t even want to touch them. I just want to hear lo-fi pop songs played on guitars and drums. This Distractions tape fits the bill, so here goes.

The first song, “Ten Days”, is midtempo with some smooth saxophone. I want to describe it as lounge, but I don’t quite get the sense that they’re dressed sharp and sipping martinis. It still sounds like a lo-fi indie rock band. I guess maybe the fact that the band and label are from Chicago is making me think of The Sea And Cake. “I Need A Reason” continues in a similar fashion, adding keyboards and a bit of doo-wop/R&B-via-British Invasion flair, along with the saxophones and crooning vocals. “Make A Move” ups the tempo closer to dubby post-punk, but basically just sounds like a jam session with an echo-covered voice saying “make it with you” being the only lyrics. “Clusters” is a promising instrumental, but it cuts off at the end of the side after only a minute or two.

“Boyfriend and Girlfriend”, an offbeat pop song with a little tighter arrangement than the past couple songs, starts side B. This is followed by a pretty amazing instrumental called “Sea Waves”, which I guess could conjure up “surf” the way the first couple songs conjure up “lounge”, but it feels more free than that, and ends with some nice guitar distortion noise. The tape ends with “Las Yamahas”, a dubby keyboard jam which seems to have been put together at the last minute, but still sounds pretty swell.

From what I’m reading online, this tape seems more like a batch of experiments than their other releases. The looseness of some of these songs does give it a bit of a throwaway feel, or maybe work in progress, but it’s still interesting, especially the second side.

Pretty All Right
6/10

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