This week I give you an entire album from my murky past: "So Chewy" by the MayTricks (no, that movie had not come out when this band existed, so that name isn't as awful as it seems, though it's not so good, I think; any band name you have to spell for people is bad news). It was recorded in the summer of 1993, just after most of us had graduated college.
This is that band's second album, and the most coherent, in that it presents our live show of the time, built up over the two years previous (instruments were in general recorded live, just as for the MayTricks demo tunes I've been posting here, with vocals, guitar solos, and other bits overdubbed; all on 4-track cassette). Many of the tunes had been written years before, some as early as 1987 or 1988 when we were in high school. I quote from the goofy, pretentious liner notes here:
"It's natural in this country to be raised on cruddy, simplistic, obvious music, and so to start one's songwriting within that style. It's also natural to eventually rebel against these basic forms and search for higher ground. But when after doing this, you return to the old songs and have to sing them as yourself today, something sinister happens."
The liner notes also state that "J.P. Sartre plays inaudible saxophones."
I should mention that as far as a presentation of my songwriting in particular, this is about my least favorite project, with the album opener "A Call to Attention" (written in the summer of 1992, I believe) striking me (not just now, but not long after it was actually finished) as as particularly ill-conceived. Still, overall, the thing is very energetic and fun, and less lo-fi than you'd expect given the technology we were working with.
My most recommended tracks: "Without" (one of Steve Petrinko's) is probably my favorite, with his "Wooden, Stone" also a great out-of-tune sloppy acoustic Rolling Stones kind of thing. Of my tunes, "The Like Song" is my favorite (featuring a kazoo solo). "Time" is also probably the best straight ballad I've ever written (from back in 1988 or 1989), though this is not the ideal recording of it.
Leave a Reply