Saturday, May 22, 2010

let's begin again: Bedhead - WhatFunLifeWas

So it's been a while since I've posted anything new.

Life has intruded, ebbs and flows, but eventually settles down.

What also helps is discovering new music. Not new as in released-last-week, but new as in "why haven't I heard this before, and why is this NOT in my record collection?!?" music. Such as it is with today's feature, a record that 5 days ago I was completely unaware of and had no musical knowledge of. Oh I knew it existed, as an entry in a discography kind of way, but nothing more than that.

You see... I've been on a Kadane brothers blitz off and on for the past several months. Starting with their current project The New Year and working my way backwards, I've been discovering the utter musical genius that is the Texan brothers Matt and Bubba Kadane and the jawdroppingly-beautiful music they create.

I'm not so familiar with the brothers' backstory so I won't go into much detail (because I don't know it!), but starting in 1992 Matt and Bubba Kadane (both guitarists) began releasing records as Bedhead, and when that band ended in 1998 later formed The New Year - which is still active.

I really haven't a clue where to begin describing Bedhead, but today's record - Bedhead's debut LP from 1994 - sounds as if Slowdive raided J Mascis' guitar collection, added some Louisville, KY math rock to the blender, and threw away the effects pedals. It's perhaps the best shoegaze record I've ever heard, but it's not shoegaze. It's perhaps the best slowcore record I've ever heard, but it's not slowcore. It's not post-rock but they could post-rock Tortoise to the end. It's not math rock, it's not punk rock, but it's all those.

Where has this record been and why hasn't it been in my collection for the past 16 years?

Take the second track here "Haywire". The guitars are straight out of the 1990-1992 UK Midlands shoegaze scene, but the ending is completely and utterly mindblowing. The song sounds like it was recorded live to two-track (which wouldn't surprise me at all) which makes the record even more impressive, considering what they're able to do with the simple three guitars, bass and drums formula.

For a quick hit intro to Bedhead just check out "Bedside Table" - a track that gently glides along on lovely intertwined guitars, and ends in a chaotic fury that had to have been AMAZING live.

I'll stop now because I'm too busy swooning to "Crushing".

1994 Trance Syndicate

01 Liferaft
02 Haywire
03 Bedside Table
04 The Unpredictable Landlord
05 Crushing
06 Unfinished
07 Powder
08 Foaming Love
09 To The Ground
10 Living Well
11 Wind Down

edit: Removed link.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Thanks for posting this! I'm having a similar "why is this not in my record collection?" moment. Amazing stuff!

    Now to find a copy of the vinyl...