COIN LOCKER KID "Discordia" (Never Anything Records)

I guess I'm damn lucky. Got number 47 of 50 of this limited run tape from Coin Locker Kid. So, let's slide this baby in and see what we have here. I might note there are sixteen tracks, nicely listed on the brief but functional j-card insert. Inside, a download slip falls into my hand. Another nice touch.

An assured voice opens track one. "I don't think this record is going to mean a lot." We'll see about that. A soft programmed beat pattern is overplayed with what appears to be a male vocalist singing backwards, a bit of melody is hinted at as a subtle gust of synth effects weave through the beat. Lots of great editing. This is good stuff!

This rolls into an irate male voice lecturing on the ails of the world at large. Then a near-rap over an oscillating shift between two tones. Everything is subtle, but effective. I marvel at the effort that went into piecing all this together. Singing voices, raps, stern adult lecturers....all palatable over the repeating shift of tones. "Hanging by a thread of cross checks and balances..." I couldn't have said it better.

By the third cut it is clear this is much more than it seems. A modern-day, no, futuristic opera is what we have here. I can visualize this onstage. Captivating. Saxophone? Really? Coin Locker Kid is not afraid to try anything...and it all works.

By "Echo Of The Eye" (5th track) we get an actual song. This too is tasteful but pointed. "In the echo of the eye, I die..."  The sax is back, but it's space jazz not be-bop. The next selection initiates with another lecturer (is "the kid" a student?) over another underscored synth based discourse. Side one continues in with a variety of more of the same-but different. I can't overstate how well this is put together. Let's flip it over...

 "As special as you are, you're not as special as you think you are" opens the second side. A stop-start affair but nevertheless another song. Tasteful guitar work, or is that programmed? Again, this demands a visual accompaniment . Film? Musical? Side two leans more on actual structured songs than did the previous side. Never am I bored. My coffee sat getting cold while I intently absorbed all that was offered here.

I'm not big on track-by-track reviews but I see I'm dangerously close here. With that in mind, I will say that side two two holds up well, though if I had to choose between them, side one gets the edge. Coin Locker Kid has created something just short of a masterpiece here. The irony being that other popular works in its class sold millions on a variety of formats while this jewel is but a run of fifty tapes.

Buy this tape, if you can find it. Buy the download if you can't. This far exceeds any comparison to other tapes in the genre. In fact, it supersedes genres. It's pop/ musical/ electronica. Coin Locker Kid is the most vibrant new artist I've heard-on any format-in years. This is the "Sgt. Pepper's" of the tape world. That by which all others will now be measured. Simple stunning.

--Bob Zilli