WNnG – Musings from the desk of chaz.

7 Tons of Fun.
April 24, 2009, 3:59 pm
Filed under: New Music

Vermillion Sands – In the Woods 7″ (fat possum)

There isn’t much I can really say about the Vermillion Sands that hasn’t already been said. Really. And literally. I went to link the myspace page here and noticed that the two reviews they have posted pretty much nail exactly what I was just sitting down to write. Rather than changing my direction, I guess I’ll just plow ahead and say what I gotta say. That’s not a bad thing, I think it just farther proves the weight and credibility of this band. I’m excited to follow these guys as they drift farther off in this direction.

As of late, Fat Possum Records seems to be back to picking up the slack in modern, offbeat renditions of traditional music. No, they’re not repackaging and reselling traditional music, they’re exploring and excavating the modern bands that are creating their own form of neo-traditional music. Artists that have a full respect for roots and raw, meaningful songs, yet also understand the importance of modernizing, not just replaying. It’s a new (or just another) wave of artists with one foot in roots music and the other stuck in the mud in which they grew up. Rewriting, reworking, recreating Traditional music how it sounds in their head post-Crypt Records, post-Sympathy for the Record Industry, post-Norton Records, post-mass pop music. There’s no weight to it if you’re not going to bring it into the modern world and make it pertinent to today.

Vermillion Sands find themselves poking around the old, dead campfires that Billy Childish once stoked and gloriously maintained in his heyday. Anna Barattin takes on a playful melody line, yet delivers in a dryly serious manner not too far off from Holly Golightly. For all I’m concerned she’s obviously a shoe-in for The Headcoatees. The vocals are just plain addictive and intriguing. There’s an almost merciless boredom in her voicing out of the lyrics, which yes, is an overdone method, but it’s extremely effective here. “I don’t need you to be proud of me,” she repeats and repeats and repeats as the song swirls to an end. In the background an organ slowly paces as the guitar bounces, shakes and drives ahead. Lethargic, Neo-Traditional Roots Garage? Man, I dunno, but I like it. There’s a weird, Dan Melchior patented awkwardness to the music as well. Something kind of out there and sort of playfully psychedelic that you can’t quite put your finger on. Anyway….

I’m hopelessly addicted to these vocals.

By now I’m sure this 7″ is probably outta print. Sorry about that! Keep an eye on Fat Possum. I really need a full length of this stuff. I think it would have a hard time leaving my record player.


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