Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fraser & DeBolt
"Don't Let Me Down"

I remember listening to today's song for the first time, and thinking, That's a Beatles song! By the time it was done, however, I started to doubt myself. I checked the songwriting credits on the label, and, indeed, it was the Lenny Mac half of the Fab Four. Sure, it was just a b-side, but it's a pretty great song, nonetheless. This interpretation, however, replaces the electric-rock-quartet-plus-guest-keyboardist backing with two acoustic guitars and a fiddle, played by guest Ian Guenther. It also boasts a rather different arrangement (surprise!). It's the final track on Fraser & DeBolt's stunning debut album, and is a beautiful closer. The whole album is an impressive mélange of acoustic, folk rock and atonal, avant garde experimentation. I can honestly say I've heard little else similar to it, as their second album, With Pleasure, was recorded with a full backing band and a reigning in of atonality (it's still a wonderful album).

When I bought my first device for burning CDRs from my stereo ('twas a stereo component CD player/recorder), the very first things I burnt were the two Fraser & DeBolt albums and the first two Hanatarash albums. Fallout Records released a pirate version of the first album on CD and LP a few years back, if you want to find a relatively inexpensive copy. I was all excited when it came out 'cause I thought it was legit. It arrived in the mail and looked suspicious to me, and my suspicions were confirmed when the first song on side two was preceded by a very loud needle drop. Great quality control there, bozos; you should be crushed. Fallout was the successor to Radioactive Records, after they got busted. I guess Fallout got busted, too, as they now release stuff under the name Phoenix Records.

*I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone cover Genesis, come to think of it. On the other hand, the lone time I saw Axehandle they did a devastatingly heavy and acrimonious cover of Phil Collins' I Don't Care Anymore. I was bummed that it didn't end up on their sole album. Or their soul album, which does not exist.

Today's selection gets the friend recommendation tag as my friend Marlo Donahue suggested I check them out when I told her 15 years or so ago that I was getting heavily into Tim Buckley. I kept my eyes peeled and came across a copy of With Pleasure a year or two later, and loved it.

2 biased opinions:

VirginiaM said...

I crush Bozo!

Biki said...

tis ok, but kinda slow and over emotional for me.