GRAHAM REPULSKI “Maple Stag” (All Tens Music)

Ridgefield, NJ is home to highly prolific, slightly mysterious lo-fi home recording dude Graham Repulski, who sent us this tape “Maple Stag.”

As I listened to this tape, I thought, why make a tape of short noisy poppy lo-fi songs in a Robert Pollard voice? Doesn’t the world have enough of that? Upon my 3rd or 4th listen, though, because that happened, the answer seems to be: No. The world did not have enough 30-120 second lo-fi pop songs sung in a Robert Pollard voice, This “Maple Stag” tape is GREAT. 

Recorded on tape, released on the artist’s own label in a 50-copy cassette run, Graham Repulski seems to earnestly believe in the medium and has done the homework to get the sounds and the vibes just right. 

The highlight track from the first side is “Rubes,” has a sweet Polvo-y guitar tone and faraway vocals with a catchy refrain, crafty lyrics (“Braves and slits/ Offering awful options to us/Thick as dicks /Nothing the fixers can't six”). B side has some fun ones too, a quick and dirty 47 second song poem “Teach Your Children to be Valuable” and the heavy, almost metal sounding “Funeral Games”  are highlights, direct and deliberate songs with great texture with bent, inquisitive lyrics.

The tape goes out with some noise collage business, “Flux Rebate,” and I kind of wished it was another regular song, but OK man, you do you, I enjoyed the rest of the tape so much that I left it in to keep flipping.

I’m looking forward to giving the rest of this guy’s substantial catalog a listen, everything is streamable quick and easy and lots of fun. 

-- Liv Carrow