The practice of thinking or making decisions with sound in a way that encourages creativity and individual responsibility.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jackpine Snag - "Omega Stump"

Well it's about time I live up to my own manifesto and actually write about a band from Lansing!

The Jackpine Snag are a "grungy doom blues" band from Lansing that started in 2010. One of these guys was in a band called Gaytar that played Dischord-ish punk around a fair shake in like 2005, and one of them was in band that I once remembered seeing wear creepy wolf masks and suits at a Halloween show a few years back but whose name escapes me now. Anyway, the point being that they're dudes that have been kicking around the grubby Lansing dive bar and basement "punk" scene for awhile now, so I expected some solid grooves out of them at the very least. Fortunately for everyone they've also got some wicked songs, and they released them last week on a slab of vinyl, so the grooves are definitely in the picture too. Grooves. Bad pun.

I gots the hit in the balls with the train cinder block right in the balls blues!

 Omega Stump is a four song 7-inch EP, released on Jackpine Snag drummer Todd Karenin's label Silver Maple Kill Records (named after a failed attempt by Ian MacKaye to start a syrup production branch of Dischord Records in the post-Nevermind haze of 1992). The production is raw in all of the right ways, and singer Joe's deep howl combined with the intricate sludginess of the band's songs recall what it may have sounded like had Danzig recorded for Sub Pop in the late 80s. Full disclosure: after typing that last sentence I immediately looked up Danzig's discography on Wikipedia to make sure this didn't in fact happen since it seems like just the type of thing that may exist and lead to angry correction letters from the masses.

Don't even joke about that.

So I'm listening to the digital version of this EP on Bandcamp, which has two extra songs on it, and I'm trying to think of some criticism but I'm coming up blank. No, this isn't the greatest band I've ever heard in my life, but damned if it isn't a really solid listen. These guys know how to keep a song moving and they appreciate brevity without being afraid to explore some interesting instrumental territory. So, shoot, I think that's as high of praise as I can muster up at the moment. Get the record from Silver Maple Kill, a legit DIY label that's in it for all the right reasons. They're limited to 200 copies and if there's any justice in the world they'll be gone soon!

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