Release Date: Jan 20, 2009
Record label: 20 Buck Skin
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Carey Mercer sure has a lot of bands. Frog Eyes, Blue Pine, Swan Lake (his supergroup with Dan Bejar and Spencer Krug, who each have many, many bands of their own), Blackout Beach—it could be hard to keep track if it weren’t for the uniquely odd, disjointed pop sensibility he brings to each of his records. Little shards of melody are jumbled, repeated, strung together, mixed around until they no longer resemble any familiar musical progression.
The record opens with a repetitive thumping, like some primitive dance beat mouthed onto the waiting surface of a microphone, before we hear the guitar, shimmering and beautiful, a fragile and repeating series of notes cascading off the walls in an echo chamber. Voices drone and murmur low in the background. “I think there was men before me who were too scrambled by Donna’s awesome, awesome power,” a man laments, his voice confident and bordering on the theatrical.
Most people know Carey Mercer for his intensely energetic voice as Frog Eyes. As that ‘band’ and in his contributions to the group Swan Lake, Mercer carelessly rolled out passionate banter that bent the conventions of melodic songwriting. His free form lyricism bounced around the electric tones and high-paced rhythms of those releases without restraint, and the accompaniment usually matched his pained ramblings.