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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Egomaniacs - s/t

Name: Egomaniacs
Album: s/t
Year: 1993
Style: Garage Psych
Similar Artists: Doors, Beatles, Flaming Lips, Squeeze, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Zombies
"One-Word" Review: Trippy-Shoegazing-Garage
Based Out Of: New Jersey?
Label: Shimmy Disc
Egomaniacs - Cover & Record
Egomaniacs - Back & Record
Egomaniacs - S/T (1993)
  1. Cancerman 2:32
  2. I Am Rolling 2:34
  3. Your Sister 3:11
  4. That Letter 1:17
  5. Heavenly Bent 2:26
  6. Father's Day 1:59
  7. From Nebraska 2:14
  8. Redline 3:16/
  9. Mamma's Collection 3:00
  10. Your Lips Are Nuggets 2:38
  11. Indeed, this is the Creep 2:19
  12. The Raven 2:50
  13. The Pebbles 2:44
  14. Kiss Your Wallet 3:45
Album rating (1-10): 7.5

Members & Other Bands:
Kim Fahy - Guitars, Vox (Mabuses)
Jamie Harley - Percussion, Engineer
Kramer - Bass, Vox, Produced, Mixed (Mabuses)
Ron Paul - Engineer
Macioce - Photograph
DAM - Design

Unknown-ness: I never heard of these guys. Besides the nice indie potential of the album, I picked this up primarily on the fact that it was issued by Shimmy Disc in 1993, which also issued some work of King Missile, Jad Fair, and most notably, Ween. It is a nice sarcastic title, “Egomaniacs,” since they have their backs to the camera in both the cover and back photos.

Album Review: The album starts out with a trippy, psychedelic Doors influenced song called “Cancerman.” It has a swirling organ, and tired, steady vocals. The good thing about the song is that the psychedelic feel does not hit you over the head; it is simple enough to not take over the entire song’s melody. “I am rolling” is another trippy type song, starting out with flutes and a dazed driving pace bass. The song is very simple, made up of two basic melodic parts. The ? & The Mysterians organ pops up here and there in quieter segments. “Your Sister” begins with something of a honky-tonk sounding bass. But the song abandons that style quickly with its deep droning tone, and becomes a complicated pop song. It features many changes in time, multiple melodic hooks, and layered vocals. They are so diverse and short lived, it is hard to pick out a chorus to the song, but that does not hurt it. “That Letter” features a harpsichord, sounding like renaissance music, the vocals sound like a chant, and the whole song feels like it is about to take off, launching into some great pop song, but that is exactly where the short song ends with a didgeridoo. “Heavenly Bent” is a straightforward college radio pop song. The melody is very beatle-esq. “Father’s Day” begins with feedback and echoy guitars: is basically an instrumental guitar jam with distorted, equally echoy spoken word vocals in the background. “From Nebraska” is a bouncy pop song. It warbles along; as if the record was slightly melted and warped (I think this was an effect, not the actual vinyl!). The vocals are lazy and tired, but they are covered with an energetic, organ that does not quite fit in with the tempo of the song. “Redline” is an instrumental, mixing space-pop with dark psychedelica: two very similar genres to begin with.

Side two is introduced with “Mamma’s Collection” a decided change from the end of side one. It sounds distinctly like British Psych-Garage, and has a quick, energetic tambourine pace. The middle of the track has a spoken word portion, barely audible under the music. The vocals make the song sound like a “Cool For Cats” type Squeeze song. “Your Lips are Nuggets” features layered trippy vocals. It has a driving rock and roll beat underneath the psych production. Even the lyrics are hypnotic. “Indeed, This Is the Creep” is another great example of the meandering sleepy British psych garage genre. “The Raven” begins with an MC’s introduction. And there is a rugged, British accented rendition of Poe’s poem layered just underneath a cowboyish psych pop instrumental. The music ends shortly before the spoken poem is over, so we get a clear idea of what the speaker was trying to get across. “The Pebbles” is a jazzy instrumental which is predominately two psych organs and a thick, sly bass & drum beat. Ending the album is “Kiss Your Wallet” features layered vocals sung through a distorted, mega-phone sounding effect. It has anthemic guitars, and psychedelic recorders. It comes off very Sgt Pepper-ish, with an updated indie-driving pace beat.

This is a quality record. The musician ship is top notch, they knew what they were going for, and succeeded brilliantly. This is not my favorite genre of music, but at times, it is the only thing I can and want to listen to.

Stand Out Track: Cancerman

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