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Friday, August 25, 2017

Party Boys - Daddyland

Name: Party Boys
Album: Daddyland
Year: 1987
Style: Art-Rock, Folk-Blues
Similar Bands: Half Japanese, Velvet Underground
One Word Review: Fragile, theater-minoring surf-folk reverb.
Based Out Of:  Los Angeles
Label: Nate Starkman & Son, Independant Project Records, Fundamental Music
 Daddyland: Cover, Liner Notes, Record
Daddyland: Back, Sleeve, Record
PR Note
Daddyland (1987)
  1. Don't Be Kind 3:11
  2. The Spring Street Shuffle 3:19
  3. Nora 3:54
  4. 10 Minute Song 4:49
  5. Spoonful 2:28
  6. I Love You 3:23 /
  7. Walk Me Down 4:55
  8. Dirty Girls 6:06
  9. Daddyland 7:20
Album Rating (1-10): 5.5

Members & Other Bands:
Gillean McLeod
James Duck
Donald Dunham
Fred Arbegast
John Dyer
Marnie Weber (Spirit Girls)
Gary Held - Promo Contact
Richard Jordan - Distribution Contact
Phil Singher - Engineer

Unknown-ness: I've never heard of them, but this album looks very interesting. A mix of low budget and just out there in randomness, from the image on the back, to the drawing of a model on the front to the headless warrior on the sleeve and record label. It's hard to get an idea of what this is going to contain. The bio included a mix of drenched reverb vox, art-damaged-music, and a reworking of traditional blues. So yeah, still up in the air.

Album review:  
The only member of the band that had a career outside of the band was Marnie Weber, who was more artistically inclined, and made the cover art for Sonic Youth’s A Thousand Leaves record. This is the Party Boys’ third album. Honestly, I can’t imagine how these tracks transitioned live, but I hope there was an accompanying intricate stage show.

“Don't Be Kind” quietly fades up with an ominous, wavering vocal chant, and dark chamber synth. It’s a little Dracula-like performance art. The song slowly grows, and the vocals become unbalanced and emotional. Quite a weird song.
“The Spring Street Shuffle” also comes in with some irregular notes and eerie effects. The vocals are spoken with lots of echoing reverb, and act like directions to a yoga work out or something instructional. There is a little surf element in the short, looping melody. It also ends with some emotion outpouring.
“Nora” has higher pitch vocals, which are equally irregular and brittle. The slide/surf guitar still exists in the background, but a lead bass line is more in the forefront, and overall, the sound is more upbeat, but just by a little. The main lyric is “My Name Is” which leads up to the song title. The song ends as it loses the instrumentation, and the lyrics are sung on repeat upscale to an increasingly high pitch.
“10 Minute Song” begins with watery, “alternative” chords, and some C&W slide guitar, with a horse-slopping tempo underneath. The vocals are nearly whispered, and sound like they are being sung as air is being sucked in, rather than exhaled. The vocals increase in wavering emotion, and appear to be in pain at times. The hooks are very short and quite repetitive, as I was hoping for a little more diversity in the track.
“Spoonful” has a back and forth range-riding cowboy atmosphere to it, but the guitars echo and the vocals are shared, there is the fragile deep set, and a higher pitch that we heard on “Nora,” that reminds me a little of the Velvet Underground.
“I Love You” sounds like a layered single note guitar melody, with bass quietly added in the background. The vocals are quiet, and sound like they are just reading ingredients on the back of a box of cereal. The song grows and becomes more dense with heavier bass and haunting effects added in behind. But there is a certain air of confidence about this song. It gets quite uncomfortable when the calm vocals suddenly emote singing the title. Later they are echoed with a chorus behind.

“Walk Me Down” begins with a catchy hook that is layered and built upon strictly following the 10-note melody. The vocals are barely there, chanted and echoing with reverb. The song builds and the guitar disappears, leaving the bass to play the same hook. The melody shifts a little, sounding more like a New Order bass line, with some whistling behind, and then some vocals sing “Ey-Yigh-Yigh.” Then everything just fades out.
“Dirty Girls” has another nearly 30 second fade up of minimal 2-chord guitar and a dark bass line. A strained vocal, barely able to udder syllables, let alone words chants along. It builds, like many of the songs do in emotional intensity, but it does not change the overall sound or hook.
“Daddyland” is the longest song on the record, and it ends with a straight ahead guitar 2 chord, 4 note progression that repeats to insanity. The vocals are nothing new, a mix of beatnik poetry and instruction reciting that increases in emotion as the song increases in thickness. The side-bar instruments follow the melody and drive, but tend to spur off into their own direction and mini-melodies. The song begins its final decent with fuzzy feedback guitars, and vocals that drift away from the front, and echo as they disperse. It is really too drawn out to keep the attention, and there has been nothing prior to assume there will be something redeeming hidden at the end. 

Stand Out Track: Walk Me Down

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