Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Distant Trains - Teen Lust
(Centipede Farm, Ed. of 50)

With a cover that looks like some late 80's hardcore demo, and a history of releasing more extreme noise/weirdo recordings, this tape by Distant Trains threw me for a loop. I was not expecting jangly, stoner basement indie rock. It goes to show you can't judge a tape by its cover, or a band by one split and a couple comp tracks. Teen Lust is strongly footed in mid to late 80's American post punk... you know, the likes of Mission of Burma and Volcano Suns, with a nod to Thrones and a little of that Temporary Residence Ltd sound.

The song that really grabbed me was "The Truth About Fire." Sandwiched between two dirges, "Effective Aperature" and "Grey Metal," its a quirky, jaunty tune with twee vocals. Its how the band takes sharp left turns after ever chorus into solos and jams that push at the edges of the band's song craft is what makes this the most exciting song on here. Managing to simultaneously reference Ween and the Lorelei singles on Slumberland.

The B side of the tape jumps genres a bit. "Want So Hard," a hazy southern rocker, is set right next to a white reggae instro, "Exquisite Mass Grave." "No Forests," like "Grey Metal," is a slow, drum machine and bass-heavy instrumental dirge.

Teen Lust touches on all sorts of nostalgia for me, having grown up in Western Mass and reveled in the glory days of local college radio stations like WAMH, WMHC and WMUA (which I still have a show on, wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

File this tape right next to the Dolores Boys tape I reviewed a few weeks ago. Pop this one in your boom box and take it to that sweet swimming spot, and imbibe your substance of choice to discretion and chill. Repeat as necessary.

Scope the jams here.


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