Monday, April 21, 2008

BABY BIRDS DON'T DRINK MILK "Ekk Ekk" (Lillerne Tape Club)

Factoid: the motto of Lawrence, Kansas is "From Ashes to Immortality." How badass is that? Having about as much experience with the Midwest as with contemporary indie pop- that is to say, little to nothing- I imagined this tape (sent in from the charming Lillerne label) sprouting inexplicably from fields of inedible bioengineered soybeans. Probably not the case, but one has to dream.
More likely, Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk is a phoenix of rad, unabashedly jangly pop juggernauticity ascending from the fetid mediocrity that is the American liberal college town music scene. They're probably popular enough by now in local circles to be releasing more widely accessible CD albums, but damn if a tape release or two doesn't build character. The eight tracks on "Ekk Ekk" swing back and forth without pause between straightforward psych tinged pop ballads and effects-and-loops-laden abstract improv. Maybe it's the format, the hiss, slight tape distortion and warbling that makes "Ekk Ekk" easy to appreciate. It might be the full orchestral sound created by a fairly large band simply playing in unison. There are other groups who do the whole lush acoustic/electric guitar, vocal harmonizing, everything drenched in reverb thing well, but this tape captures a certain feeling that's just...right. Or feels right. Like nostalgia, or even fake nostalgia. Like Family Underground covering a bunch of Sarah Records tunes, or something. Definitely one of the best tapes I've heard this year. Awesome full-color doodled artwork seals the deal. RECOMMENDED!

http://www.myspace.com/lillerne
http://www.myspace.com/babybirdsdontdrinkmilk