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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Haberdasher - SONGS ON LOVE nos 48602-48608

Name: Haberdasher
Album: SONGS ON LOVE nos 48602-48608
Year: 1997
Style: Math Rock, Noise Punk
Similar Bands: Oxes, Battles, Sonic Youth, Helmet (a bit)
"One-Word" Review: Calculated-Repeate-Shoegazing-Prog
Based Out Of: Baltimore, MD
Label: Reptillian Records

SONGS ON LOVE nos 48602-48608 - Cover, Record & Reptilian Records Catalogue
SONGS ON LOVE nos 48602-48608 - Back, Record & Reptilian Records Catalogue

SONGS ON LOVE nos 48602-48608 (1997)
  1. 48602 5:13
  2. 48603 4:43
  3. 48604 5:23
  4. 48605 2:53
  5. 48606 4:06
  6. 48607 4:42
  7. 48608 9:51
Album Rating (1-10): 7.5

Members & Other Bands:
Adam Cooke - Mixing Engineer
Nate Fowler - Guitar (Oxes)
Emmanuel Nicolaidis - Drums (More Dogs, Thank You)
Michael Bouyoucas - Keys (More Dogs, Thank You)
Steve Santillian - (More Dogs)

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of these guys, but the name is a perfect name, sounding like an obscure punk/indie band. The simple cover reminds me of Wire, as they have been compared to sonically as well. What is really intriguing is the decision to juxtapose something as emotional as love, with the idea to name the songs about it as concurrent numbers. The spacious grey cover gives room for the names of songs/numbers to be written like on an excel spreadsheet on the back. This record is cool, because it is labeled specially out of 300 copies. As for the content, I can only assume it is going to be some kind of mechanical or highly evolved futuristic music.

Album Review: “48602” starts off with a minimal industrial/mechanical thudding drum beat. It is not timed, and not meant to be on a specific beat until the bass comes in as a quiet hum. Together they both lay down angular and disjointed rhythm, accented by guitar tweaks here and there for 2 minutes. Then the moody space guitar notes quietly play over the groundwork. The song builds, but that actually is the song, a continuous build throughout the track until the last minute. The guitar, slightly off key, gives way to a noisey onslaught of buzzing guitar work, sliding up and down the musical scale. It ends suddenly, with an abrupt stop. “48603” begins with a quiet hum for 30 seconds, and the progressive building drum & bass beat is echoed with the repetitive guitar strumming over top. The guitar production is liquid and murky with the essence of space pop. There are vocals here, but they feel like the singer is barely in the room, and is forced to chant the nasally vocals from across the room. The song continues in a dreamy, head spinning loop, which changes tempo and instrumentation once in a while, but never the swaying rhythm never skips. “48604” begins with creepy sea-swaying guitars & bass, crashing cymbals and minimal chanted, hushed monotone vocals, which are added in bits more as an instrument’s compliment rather than a front piece on display. Danger is afoot, as the guitars crash for a few bars followed up with a Jaws inspired bass effect. It winds down, as if the threat of a tsunami washes away out to sea. “48605” quietly comes onto the sonic map, nearly absent for the first 40 seconds, with light bass. Then a marching drum beat is coupled with a repetitively strummed guitar, but the effect is not as driving as I’d expect.

“48606” finally breaches into noise and feedback guitar work, this is a very urgent and driving song, with a quicker off-beat, angular drum rhythm. It feels video game is, with its changing musical scale and rushed motivational atmosphere. It has little breaks where the buzz rests and the quiet bass fills in. But it picks right back up with the drums starting, and the guitars “talking” to each other. And the guitar onslaught kicks in. Lots of repetition is used in the ending of the song, but it a solid, solid song. “48607” is back to the dreamy, creepy production of showgazing bass over echoy eerie guitars. The elements are brought in, growing in volume, and the progressive drone commences. Yelled vocals are added, but are too high and mixed in the back for their words to have too much meaning. The tempo switched to a marching beat halfway through the song, and the vocals, occasionally used, are more monotone. The guitars come off as a series of repetitive beeps and bops. And the last song, the monstrously repetitive 9 minute epic, repetitively titled “48608” begins slowly with what sounds like the band testing their instruments. It consists of tinkling guitar, drums and bass all seemingly played separate of each other, yet all over top. Then after a minute and 15 sec, the bombastic guitars and drumming take over, and the wall of sound is created, slowly pushing the listener along for a minute, and it relapses into a ringing effect that fades with time, and a random couple of drum fills are added, and the driving sound-wall returns around 3:30. This section of the song tires out around 5 minutes, and the buzzing ring returns louder, with dismal effects randomly entered, like we’re back to the instrument testing. What sounds like a guitar-on-keybaord sample is looped in the background, behind buzz and fuzz, which now picks up the driving momentum of the song. It feels like it loses track here, but I’m sure this is what was planned, down to each note. The drums feel like they are about to pick up as all the instruments gain an intensity and urgency back to their manipulation. But the drums kinda fall to the waist side, and the alarm-like guitar buzzing becomes irritating as it does not morph into anything more. The instruments quiet down as they exit the song in an exhausted style.

Stand Out Track: 48606
Best new band Baltimore City paper 9/96
Panzan's Blog

Reptilian Records
Lord Baltimore Recording Staff
Balti City Paper - Oxes 6/00
Math & Noise Blog
Balti City Paper - Thank You 6/08
More Dogs Myspace
Oxes - Wikipedia
Discography Grunnen Rocks
T-DT-B Discog
Thank You Myspace


  1. What is the pressing out of? I also have this LP but it just says "141"... in your picture I can't make out if it's 300 or 500.