Friday, September 16, 2005

running down a hill

Trumans Water formed in San Diego in 1991. John Peel (in)famously played their debut LP "Of Thick Tum" in entirety on his show.

They never really took off, a bit of an indie trainspotter obsession (hi there!). Maybe they were a bit ahead of their time - the means of music production have now become so decentralised that CDR and web-only record labels can afford to distribute ever-more niche musical styles. Artists can themselves release endless CDRs to their audience without excessive financial outlay. Trumans Water released their improvised-vinyl-only-albums-with-hand-made-sleeves and probably bankrupted themselves and everyone they dealt with.

Trumans Water - Aroma of Gina Arnold

"Aroma of Gina Arnold" is for me their best song - ok, it's over 8 minutes long but stick with it, it's a GREAT performance. The abrasive musical style and bizarre vocals are obvious, but underneath the mayhem the lyrics are great. Gina Arnold is a music journalist (and sometime Stereolab vocalist) who sprung up in the early 90s and did a few hack biogs. Trumans Water obviously aren't keen.
They said our youth was dead, how could they know?
We're stinking in our beds, we're lying low.
You're plastic order sucks and it's gonna blow...
Let either side confess they do not know.
I really could care less who paved the road.
You're plastic culture sucks and it's gonna blow...
"Aroma of Gina Arnold" starts with "The Note" - a lot of their songs use "The Note". It's a common-or-garden, bog-standard note, but they make it sound like the guitar strings are rusted and they're playing with a flint instead of a plectrum. They keep circling around and returning to "The Note" throughout the song, but it won't quite settle.

At the 4 minute mark they hit a perverse arhytmical section before they ratchet up the tension. "The Note" reappears at 5.30 - sweet jesus, what have they done to the strings?

After that they keep mucking about with their tunings - the bit at 7.18 makes me feel a bit pissed.

At 8.03 the note rides it to the finish line - phew, back home again!

SteveDomino says: "Every now and then I get the urge to play some incredibly loud music, the kind of stuff that sounds like the perfect soundtrack to running pell-mell down a hill, arms flailing, the whole caboodle. When I get that feeling, I reach for Trumans Water!"

Trumans Water - Playboy Stabtone Bloodbath Go

Visit Trumans Water
Buy Spasm Smash XXX Ox Ox Ox and Ass (features "...Gina Arnold")
Buy Godspeed The Punchline (features "Playboy Stabtone...")

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